For your next literary journey….

Horrifying yet riveting

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest DisasterInto Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So wow, where to even start with this book. I decided to read it right after seeing the movie which was a bit confusing, probably because a story at high altitude is difficult to understand when represented visually.

The book does so much to provide missing context and detail to the story, in all its real horror. Over and over there are examples where poor use of judgement and emotional, financial and competitive drivers override effective system management. Despite this, there are examples of amazing feats of human survival and episodes of heroism. However the haunting reality is that nothing seems to have been learnt and this seems to be anchored to the fact that ‘Everest is a loosely regulated business’ (unlike something like airline travel which is heavily regulated and therefore similar lessons result in real changes).

Despite this was an absolutely nail biting read which kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. Which in some ways depicts the relationship we have with Everest itself, it’s horrifying, infuriating and often defeating, yet utterly gripping and rapturous at the same time. An amazing read, full five stars.


Happy Now?

This sums it up really……

Katyboo1's Weblog

It is day four in the Big Brexit house.

I had hoped after Friday’s absolute catastrophe of a day that the country might somehow magically rally over the weekend. I mean, when you plunge your country into possible ruin on the promise of a golden future that will allow it to rise like a phoenix from the flames, you have a plan, right?

As it turns out, you don’t. The only person that seems to have any plan at all, and be acting on it rather than just spouting meaningless Churchillian rhetoric is Nicola Sturgeon, and I can’t even vote for her.

I was distraught and angry on Friday. I had hoped to feel better by today. Instead I am running on barely controlled rage and getting more enraged by the moment.

Here are a few things I am furious about:

Firstly, leave voters telling me to calm down. I’m sorry…

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Loved the debut, strong follow up, weaker third installment…..

Written in Bone (David Hunter, #2)Written in Bone by Simon Beckett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another really strong crime thriller (#2 in the series). This one is a more in the style of a straightforward crime whodunnit set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, which was a welcome setting and one I enjoy reading about. It is similar to Anne Cleeves’s Shetland series, however a stronger story due to the forensic detail that is often overlooked in some of her books. Like the first in the series, there are twists and turns right up until the end. Whilst it it unfolded like I thought it would, what transpires is not that obvious so having this confirmed meant I enjoyed the story as it played out. The writing is not as evocative as the first novel, however still a really enjoyable read, 4 stars!



Whispers of the Dead (David Hunter, #3)Whispers of the Dead by Simon Beckett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this novel takes a different approach and have to say am not sure it fully works (#3 in the series). This time its a more contemporary style thriller about a serial killer (which is what I like), however this story really feels long and drawn out, so by the time you get to the final twist – it’s basically a bit of a let down. Overall it seems like this is a first attempt at this style of storytelling, certainly nothing like his first novel. Overall 3 stars, not bad for a raining afternoon but no real sparks for me…..

Great escapist reading….

The Killing Hour (Quincy & Rainie, #4)The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am probably a bit late to the game with this author, however better late than never!

This book came as recommendation and I can see why. It’s a tight, well planned and well structured thriller/crime story. It commences by following Kimberly through her FBI training programme where she is suddenly thrust into an unresolved serial killer case. Girls are being kidnapped in twos and the death of one has clues to the whereabouts of the other.

It’s a great race against the clock, with often gritty nail biting scenes that twist and turn all the way through. There is also effective use of the perspective of the killer that is so often missed by authors of the genre. Overall clever writing that I haven’t come across since reading Nesbo and am glad to have more installments to stick my teeth into, solid four stars!

Strong start to a new crime series….

The Girl In The IceThe Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great read from the start, really punchy and gritty, keeping the pages turning and me up to the wee hours! The book introduces Dectective Erika Foster, on the hunt for a killer of a young socialite who may not have been the first victim. You get a real of sense of the streets of London and a female lead who evokes the legend of DI Tennison. Overall this is a strong, well developed character that bodes well for future books in the series. The only downside for me was towards the last quarter of the book which felt a little less developed. Characters and situations were suddenly introduced that, for me, jarred the story a little bit. Also when the protagonist was revealed it was a bit ‘ah ha it was you’. Perhaps more context could have been built into the story at an earlier point, setting the scene for playing all suspects off each other a little more and being able to build on the suspense. So a bit more thread weaving all the way through would be my recommendation. All in all, a great new crime series to watch out for, 3 1/2 to 4 stars.

Many thanks to NetGallery for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

An absolute pleasure :)…..

The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, #1)The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, so I might be a little late to the table as this was released in 2006, however it is superb! By the way, it’s currently on special and promoted through Dead Good Reads on all e-book platforms for £1.99, my recommendation is to buy it, now!

So I rarely give 5 stars, particularly to crime/thriller fiction, however this is a beautifully written crime novel. I can understand why this author is popular in Germany and Scandinavia! Usually I rush into chapters because it’s all about the action and getting to who the culprit is. However this time I had to consciously stop myself and just take in the beauty of the writing. In one word, its evocative….

“The grass cracked underfoot like broken glass. The early morning frost bleached the colour from the landscape, turning into a monochrome wilderness..

“the blood..smeared her skin in an abstract pattern of cruelty”

“After centuries of self containment, of knowing it could always rely on its own no matter what, Manham could no longer trust itself”

You are literally transported into the local landscape, seeing everything as if you were there. I couldn’t help but feel the conjuring of Agatha Christie. This is the quintessential whodunnit in a local country village, with all the personalities, parochialism and politics that go along for the ride – just set in more modern times. Where local sleuthing meets forensic pathology/anthropology. It has all the suspense, twists and turns of an enjoyable thriller, however these are actually understated because it’s the strength of the writing that drives the momentum of the story, making this a great read. An absolute pleasure in fact, 5 stars.

Great holiday reading!

Follow You HomeFollow You Home by Mark Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I have held off from reading more of Mark Edwards due to my opinion of ‘Because She Loves Me’ (which was lukewarm at best), however more the fool me!

This is a really strong thriller. It all begins with a trip of a lifetime, which turns very sour and whatever takes place follows lovebirds Daniel and Laura home and haunts them both. What really happened out there in the Romanian forest?

It has loads going on, which sometimes means you will need to suspend belief a wee bit, however it’s worth it due how much storyline is packed in, with great build up of suspense and twists and turns right up until the last page. Overall 4 stars from me, great holiday reading!!

A solid thriller….

The Silent GirlsThe Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first half of the book had me turning the pages and staying up way too late (just one more chapter!), so it had all the makings of an exceptional thriller. The only slight let down was that towards to end it felt like a rushed way to tie things up and I felt my engagement with the story fall away. However the book does end on a strong final note.

This author is cited alongside the likes of Jo Nesbo, and given Nesbo (for me) has developed his art in building suspenseful endings in his later novels – if this author does the same then it bodes well for the production of strong thrillers in the future. Overall a 3.5 star read for me.

Great downtime reading…

Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, #2)Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A strong continuation of the Tracy Crosswhite series, another four stars from me. In this installment we see Tracy picking up on the case referenced in the first novel which at that point, was filed as a cold case. Now the case has been reopened as it seems a serial killer is at work, someone who has also developed a morbid fascination with Tracy! I preferred this one to the first one as it was less courtroom based and more in the style of a police investigation. It had more players with differing motivations and therefore had a bit more momentum. Great downtime reading :).

Many thanks to NetGallery for a free copy in exchange for an honest review

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