Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery Finders, Not Keepers by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Jenny

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading Finders, Not Keepers by D.E. Haggerty

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This is a lighthearted and fun murder mystery. Terri finds a beautiful diamond necklace which turns out to be worth a pretty penny. Things are not as simple as you may think though, there is a story behind the jewel, an unsolved murder!
Terri’s friend Melanie, never one to let anything remotely exciting pass her by, insists Terri try to solve the mystery. This is not something Terri goes into lightheartedly, especially when there is ‘the mob’ involved.
Of course we cannot have a heroine without a hunk of a neighbour on her tail. Ryder has his eye on Terri and little does she know just how much of her he is looking at. I found Ryder to be quite irritating and overbearing, but all with good intentions.
This book is simple to read, easy to follow and had me giggling quite a bit too. The chapters are just the right length too.
A good book with just enough going on to keep you wanting more.

Book description

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

 

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Vintage #Mystery The Riviera Affair by @newwrites #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading The Riviera Affair by J New

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When Ella Bridges takes a frantic phone call for help from her mother Elspeth, who lives on Cap Ferrat in France, she and her aunt Margaret waste no time in travelling to the French Riviera accompanied by Margaret’s dear but eccentric friend, Pierre DuPont. Pierre is a renowned artist, master forger and, despite his name and French manner, a cockney. It seems Elspeth’s friend, Colonel Summerfield, has gone missing and, because she was the last person to see him, the unpleasant detective in charge has implied she must have something to do with his disappearance. With the threat of prison hanging over her and worry about her friend, Elspeth needs all the help she can get.

Ella was glad of the company, she didn’t relish the idea of travelling to France alone. Pierre could speak fluent French and knew a good number of people and Aunt Margaret saw to all the travel arrangements. Travelling by aeroplane was a first for Ella and she was undeniably nervous, but once on board she pleased to note it was very civilised, similar to a first class train carriage. When they arrived on French soil and left the plane Ella saw a man she’d noticed on board.

[As we pulled away and started out along the coast road I glimpsed a man standing in the shade of a tree opposite, staring at the car. My stomach twisted and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up; it was the stranger from the aeroplane and at his feet was a black cat, my black cat in actual fact. It could only mean one thing; there had been a suspicious death. I only hoped it wasn’t the colonel.]

I’ve enjoyed each book in this period cosy mystery series and The Riviera Affair is no exception. The characters are very well drawn. Ella is extremely likeable, Aunt Margaret and particularly Pierre are unconventional and quirky, and judging by the hints dropped have an intriguing back story. They soon discover there’s more to the disappearance of the colonel than meets the eye and become involved in a dangerous and complex investigation. Ella is without the back up of Detective Sergeant Baxter this time, although she is able to correspond with him, but joins forces with the handsome Captain Jacques Robillard, who isn’t quite what he seems.

The plot is skilfully put together, the narrative well detailed. In this episode we get an idea of what it was like to travel by air when in its infancy, getting weighed before embarking to make sure the aeroplane isn’t too heavy, which makes Ella even more nervous. Aunt Margaret describes it as ‘like having tea at the Ritz only up in the air.’ If only! The Riviera Affair is an excellent addition to the series.

Book description

The glamour of the French Riviera quickly turns sour as Ella is caught up in an investigation which will have repercussions on both sides of the channel. But has she finally met her match?

When her mother telephones from France with news of her imminent arrest, Ella along with her aunt and an eccentric friend rush to her aid. But what starts as a simple disappearance quickly turns to murder and Ella finds herself embroiled in a mystery which is far more complex than she’d anticipated.

In a foreign land where she doesn’t speak the language, has no jurisdiction and doesn’t know who to trust, Ella has to call upon all her usual skills and devise new ones in order to flush out the adversary in their midst.

But will she be in time to save the life of the man she came to find?

‘The Riviera Affair’ is set in 1930’s England, and is the fourth of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series.

AmazonUK | AmazoonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT time-travel novella The Cube by @melissafaye16

Today’s team review is from Teri, she blogs here http://teripolen.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Teri has been reading Guardian Of The Present Book 1: The Cube by Melissa Faye

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I’m pretty sure it was the original Planet of the Apes movies that made me a fan of time travel, so every time I see a book on the topic, it’s like a laser beam that draws me in.

I like the idea of June’s story being told in eight novellas – it reminds me of Stephen King’s The Green Mile.  All were quick reads, and each left the reader with a bit of a cliffhanger – the first book in the Guardians of the Present series is no different.  The traveler case June is dealing with wraps up in this novella, but shocking news regarding something from her past turns up at the end.

June is a very likable protagonist, and despite her unusual ‘job’, she’s trying to have a normal college experience – roommates, fraternity parties, and possibly a new love interest.  The clever names she’s given her self-invented weapons made me chuckle, and her understanding of and knack for technology has saved her numerous times in her line of work.  Currently, June’s three roommates aren’t really asking any questions about her mysterious behavior and oddly timed comings and goings, but there’s potential for some conflict in the future, and maybe the possibility of even taking some of them into her confidence.

Something I missed was more information on world-building.  Although it may be included later in the series, I was left wondering how June became a guard at such a young age, and how she met Ridge.  Is there someone over the program?  Are there guards throughout the country?  The world?  June encounters a traveler at Central Park Zoo, obviously a high traffic area, and later even sneaks in after hours, but no mention is made about park goers sighting them, security guards, or cameras.  Is there some gadget that prevents her from being seen?

This well-paced novella can easily be read in one sitting, and BuffyLooper, and Veronica Mars are excellent comp titles.  I’d like to continue with the series, but hope the author fills in some blanks and gives readers a better grasp of June’s world and backstory.

Book description

In the future, time travelers are a reality. In the present, time travelers are a real pain.

June Moore is a normal teenager by day and a vigilante hero by night.

She guards our present day from time travelers from the future. Law enforcement can’t keep up with their futuristic abilities.

But June has an edge.

Her smarts and strength help her fight off these visitors before they can take advantage of our world. She sends those time travelers back where they belong…whether they like it or not.

Now it’s the night before her freshman year of college, and June finds herself face-to-face with a traveler. His motives are unclear, and he’s holding a strange cube.

She has to know what’s inside.

An extra second of hesitation allows the man to escape. June’s left alone. With the box. And with regrets…She should have sent the guy straight home.

If June doesn’t capture the time traveler soon he could really mess up the future for everyone. Who knows what kind of trouble he may cause? And if the cube opens…it might cause even more trouble. Something that would hit closer to home.

To save the future of those close to her, June must hunt the escaped traveler down.

…Before she runs out of time.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Mystery Lily White In Detroit by @CynthiaHarriso1

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs here http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading Lily White In Detroit by Cynthia Harrison

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This book introduces you to Lily White, PI. A rather simple case of observation is ended by a murder. Lily teams up with police detective Derrick Paxton, little do they know what is to come.

With “Lily White in Detroit”, Cynthia Harrison has created an entertaining mystery with more than just a hint of romance. Lily White and Derrick Paxton are very likeable characters, complex; even if they are not always on the same page during the case, they stay focussed. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with depth and interesting interactions until the last page. I had a great time reading “Lily White in Detroit” – it is an intriguing and enjoyable read. I was drawn into the story right away, eager to solve the case. For me, it is more mystery than romance which is good for me; the romantic part enhances the story nicely, though. A story to read again.

This is for you if you like mysteries with well-elaborated twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of romance, and if you think something like “I would not mind reading more of this”.

Recommended.

 

Book description

Private investigator Lily White has a client with a faulty moral compass. When the client is arrested for murdering his wife and her alleged lover, Lily follows her intuition and her own leads. If she’s wrong, she’ll at least know she did her job.

Detroit police detective Derrick Paxton remembers Lily from another case. He understands she suffers from PTSD and thinks her judgment is impaired. He goes after her client and the evidence he needs to close the case. When Lily is kidnapped, the case takes an unexpected turn.

In a sometimes racially divided city, a black cop and a white PI work together to peel back every layer to find the truth. What they find leads them to each other, but do they have enough to bring the true criminals to justice?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Relationship novel The Men by @fannycalder #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Men by Fanny Calder

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5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!  As a member of Rosie’s review team, I look down the submissions list when it’s time to choose a new one, and I usually go for sci-fi, dystopian or something otherwise nice and dark, rarely anything about love relationships or labelled ‘women’s fiction’, but I’m so glad I stepped out of my box with this one – it’s eons away from mainstream relationship dramas.

The Men is a series of thirteen snapshots, all linked so that it’s a continuing story, about the relationships with the opposite sex that have punctuated the author’s life.  It appears they’re part autobiographical, part fiction:

‘It is a tale of urban human connections crafted with no judgement or deep introspection – a window on the author’s own life at that time that will resonate and stay with you.’

Some of them reminded me of my own younger years, the racketing around and caring only about the moment, which is perhaps why I liked them so much; particularly the first one, The Singer.  The writing style is great – witty, sharp, joyful, but melancholy at times, too.  Some of the relationships are sad, some heartbreaking, and some made me think ‘what the hell was she thinking of’ (Rotting Man!), but those made me sad, too; loneliness can push people into all sorts of bad decisions, and I felt that the author was lonely, sometimes.  Never in a victim or despairing sort of way, though she seems to become more so as the book goes on.

I loved how the book concentrates only on The Men, that she was never tempted to give more background, which would have diluted it.  On occasion the writing is quite beautiful; a section about a party with an eighteenth century theme made me want to stay in it.

One point that intrigued me―earlier in the book she clearly has a high-powered job that involves much travel, though we are never told what it is.  I did a bit of digging and discovered that the author is a fairly well-known environmental campaigner; all that and she can write, too.

Highly recommended; I wanted to carry on reading when I’d finished it.

Book description

A darkly brilliant debut novel by Fanny Calder, and arguably essential reading for the feminist hedonist woman in your life. City life in the 1990s. Anonymous, intense, paradoxical and sometimes lonely. A young, haunted woman falls in love with a singer. She finds she has been consumed by the relationship and when it ends – as it inevitably does – she feels unable to quite rediscover herself. Cities can draw you into even darker places, and she embarks on a series of intense relationships with thirteen men of very different types, from a rough sleeper to a millionaire, and from a transvestite to a leading politician. As she is propelled through a series of extraordinary adventures and wild parties she finds she begins to lose her own identity. Is there a way out? A raw and unflinchingly honest narrative with stripped down language that is liberating and sometimes challenging. It is a tale of urban human connections crafted with no judgement or deep introspection – a window on the author’s own life at that time that will resonate and stay with you.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #YA #Fantasy Daughter Of Kali by Shiulie Ghosh @hackhound

Today’s team review is from Lilyn, she blogs here http://www.scifiandscary.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Lilyn has been reading Daughter Of Kali by Shiulie Ghosh

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I started ‘Daughter of Kali: Awakening‘ the day after I finished the Deep Silence, the 10th book of the Joe Ledger series. For anyone who has followed that series, you know it’s an extremely hard act to come after. I was fully expecting to mildly enjoy this book at best, as I would be fully enveloped in a book hangover. So, imagine my surprise when I almost instantly found myself liking ‘Daughter of Kali’

This is a quick, enjoyable young adult urban fantasy read. It’s got a kick-ass Indian version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as a mum!), a daughter having trouble coming to terms with her heritage, and a secret society. (Who doesn’t love a good secret society? Especially one aimed at stopping evil.) And, for the age-range that this book is aimed at, there’s an appropriate amount of hormones and a bit of a love triangle. 

This does not read like a debut novel. It has a smooth, polished feel to it. The pacing is nice and quick. The dialogue is good. Some of the characters made me laugh out loud. Some made me want to punch them. The fight scenes were fairly generic, but really all you need to know is that people are training and/or kicking evil’s butt, right?

Overall, ‘Daughter of Kali: Awakening’, was a pleasant, engaging read that I breezed through. Shiulie Ghosh did a great job, and I appreciated the diversity that she included in the novel. There was the inclusion of differently-abled, of LGBTQ+,  and of course, the main character – who wasn’t a perky little white girl!

Book description

Kaz Deva just wants to be a normal 15 year old. She has normal problems after all; she never knew her dad, she’s the only Indian girl in school, and the boy she’s crushing on prefers her best friend.

But when her teacher turns into a monster before her very eyes, Kaz is drawn into a world of demons and gods, myth and magic. Nothing is as it seems – her Mum has secret superpowers, and there’s a shadowy organisation hidden on her doorstep.

Kaz discovers she’s part of a long legacy of Warriors dating all the way back to the Hindu goddess Kali. But where does she fit into this ancient battle? What does Kali want from her? And can she control her own awakening powers before it’s too late?

About the author

Shiulie Ghosh is a TV news presenter. She was born in the UK to a Bengali father and English mother, who moved the family to India for several years when she was a toddler, thus instilling in her a life-long love of chicken curry and riding on trains where you can actually hang out of the door.
She grew up to be an award-winning journalist, and over the past twenty years has worked for some of the biggest names in the business including the BBC, ITN and Al Jazeera. She has covered major global stories including the Kosovo War, the Asian Tsunami, the death of Nelson Mandela, and the Arab Spring.
She was the first anchor to go on air for Al Jazeera English when it began broadcasting from Qatar in 2006 – eventually reaching 200 million homes. She lived in the Middle East for nearly ten years, before returning to the cooler climes of south-east England.
She helped to establish the London bureau of the 24-hour international news channel TRT World, which was launched in 2015. She now splits her time between anchoring news bulletins, and moderating conferences for high-profile clients such as the pharmaceutical and finance industries, the UN and the WHO.
In between she tries to squeeze in more writing, and would like to get a second book out before she dies of old age.
Her main interests, apart from being a news junkie, are reading, writing and travelling. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, her daughter, the cat, and some chickens.

Shiulie Ghosh

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Eating Disorder #memoir Thin & I by Andrijka Keller

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Thin & I by Andrijka Keller 

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I have had a fair amount of experience with eating disorders in my life. Both bulimia and anorexia have impacted on my life in various ways from when I was a young teenager at school right up to the current point in my life.

I chose to read this book because I was very curious to read a first hand account of the experiences of a sufferer of bulimia. I have watched the struggle of sufferers from an external point of view and was keen to learn the other side of the story and try to understand what goes on in the mind of a person in the grip of this illness. I thought it would give me greater insight into the disorder and a better ability to cope with and understand it.

This fascinating book did not disappoint me. It did provide a very personal and detailed account of Andrijka experience. The how and why she developed this disorder are well explained. I liked the way Andrijka presented her disorder as a person, named ED, to who she was basically enslaved. She operated under ED’s instructions and found it extremely difficult to go against his viewpoint and thoughts.

The story is very comprehensive and takes the reader through the horrors of discovery, the writer’s experience in rehab trying to overcome her disorder and later, a much more traumatic experience in another facility.

What enthralled me the most was her thought process. It quickly became apparent to me that the greatest challenge faced by people on the outside is the sufferers massive determination not to get cured. Like all other mental illnesses I know of, the desire to be thin and to maintain the rituals of the illness overcome the sufferer’s rationality and desire to get better. The girls in the rehab collude to basically ensure that they don’t really get better. The effectively assist each other in remaining ill. This was a huge breakthrough for me in understanding a mental disorder. To effectively find a cure, you have to hit on an incentivisation that is so overwhelmingly important to the sufferer that they become determined to get better. That is the only way it seems. The sufferer has to do it themselves, outside people can only pray and encourage.

The book could benefit from a bit of editing and I was slightly disappointed in the ending which led me to believe that Andrijka’s cure could be undermined by the career path she chose. I don’t know how that has panned out for her.

A very powerful story.

Book description

When Andrijka (And-dree-kah) Keller was just 15 years old, she was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder.

Her psychiatrist quickly prescribed her Prozac, to which she would eventually agree to. Shortly after, she was prescribed four more medications in hopes of ‘curing’ her. She believes it did the exact opposite.

Andrijka’s raw and edgy memoir takes the reader down a rabbit hole in a fast-paced, graphic, and darkly humorous depiction of recovery, self-acceptance, and what it means to be depressed as a modern teenager.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Unusual #crimefiction Scorn by Paul Hoffman

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs here http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading Scorn by Paul Hoffman

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My review:

When I was first approached about reviewing this novel I was beyond intrigued. It sounded like something utterly unique and out there. I wasn’t sure it would suit my reading taste, but I knew I had to read it because it sounded like nothing I had read before. And although it took me a while to get to it, I am happy to report my first impression was right. This book is… extraordinary.

Yes, this book is extraordinary because it is out of the ordinary, pretty much so. If we try to define its genre, we’ll have many difficulties. Is it a thriller? There is a pretty special serial killer (those of us who regularly read thrillers know that they are becoming more and more bizarre and extreme, but this one is beyond the usual, even by modern standards) and a series of murders and desecrations connected by a several cryptic clues (yes, crosswords also come into it), but it has too many other elements that do not fit in well with this genre. There are mystery and police-procedural elements to a point, and a couple of interesting and quirky detectives (Scrope and Lister, both from the upper crust with outstanding education, interesting connections, and an armed forces background), and a female PC, Molly Coates (a heroine of the working classes, from the North of England and from as different a background as possible to the dynamic duo but as clever).

There is a paranormal/fantasy element (well, there is a wolf/shifter involved, and there are references to other creatures that might fit into a number of different categories), but the plot takes place in the world we live in (scarily so at times) or a close version of it with ‘interesting touches’ (some fictional, some are a matter of interpretation). There is a scientific explanation for some of the events (involving the Large Hadron Collider) that could put one in mind of science fiction novels, but this is not the main focus of the plot.

There are plenty of references to religion (which is one of the main themes of the book, in particular, the Roman Catholic Religion) but a word of warning, I think truly devoted and orthodox followers of the Catholic faith or even convinced Christians might feel offended by some of the content. There are also plenty of references and a focus on current and recent events (like the sexual abuse of children by members of the RC priesthood, there are also comments about politics, media, and political figures, some international but many centred in the UK, and we have close encounters with preeminent figures like Tony Blair, the Queen of England, the Pope…) but although the references are accurate and there are plenty of quotations from books, newspapers, media, and the internet, these are weaved into the story and it is not non-fiction or a factual account. As I mentioned already, there are plenty of details about everyday British life peppered through the book, and although in my opinion it is not necessary to be British or an expert on the UK to fully understand or enjoy the book, I think people with a good knowledge of UK politics, society, and current affairs will find much to enjoy (and think about) when they read this book. There is also romance, a story of opposites attract that goes beyond the conventional, but it is only a subplot (and not typical of the romantic genre).

Oh, and there are some illustrations (like ink etchings) of characters and events in the book, but I wouldn’t call it a comic, or a picture book (although they add greatly to the overall effect).

The book has also an extraordinary narrator that from very early on challenges the readers, promising some things (a great twist at the end, that, let me tell you now, he delivers), coaxing them, warning them, and never letting them become too complacent or ‘safe’. The narrator, whose identity readers will wonder about for much of the book, is opinionated, has strong points of view and is not, and never pretends to be, a neutral observer. He is witty, well-informed, dismissive at times, rude and pushy, but never ever boring. Scorn, the title of the book, is the mode of much of his narration, and I loved his voice from the beginning, but if you don’t, you will have difficulties with the book. I always recommend readers to check a sample of the book before buying, and this is one of those cases when I feel that is a must. Although some of the narration, mostly to do with the investigation and the main characters (I am trying not to reveal too many details of the plot, but let’s say, things are not what they seem, as most readers will suspect from the beginning) is written in the third person, much of what makes the book special and gives it its structure and its distinctiveness is the narrator.

Do not get me wrong, though, there are plenty of other characters, like the investigators I have mentioned, whom we get to know quite well and whose personalities and adventures would provide sufficient material for gripping, if more conventional, novels in their own right. There is also Aaron Gall, the character at the centre of the plot, who is both the anti-hero and victim, and also acts as a catalyst for the action in the book. We get to know him, and the rest of the characters, quite well, and he is also a stand-in for the many people who have survived abuse (more or less extreme) at the hands of those who were supposed to be looking after their education and spiritual well-being. If I had to choose, my favourite would be Molly, perhaps because I have more in common with her than with the rest of the characters, and Lou, the therapist, but they are all interesting and likeable. Here I am referring to the main characters. Some of the other characters, many of whom we only get temporary glimpses of (including the victims) are not necessarily likeable, but they are far from caricatures or cut-out types, and we do get insights into their thoughts and motivations that make them, if not sympathetic, at least real and human. And, that includes the guest appearances by true historical figures.

I have tried very hard not to give away much of the plot, although I hope my mention of some of the themes would suffice to get prospective readers interested. I found it a compelling read, both due to the main storyline, and also to the detours, the narrator comments, and the fanciful asides. But this is not a book that zeroes on the action and dismisses anything that is not relevant to the plot (in that way it is perhaps more of a literary fiction novel, but not quite either). This is a long book that meanders on and off through tangents, which eventually we realise are relevant to the overall book but not always to the thriller part of it, so if you’re an impatient reader looking for a light and thrilling read or a who-done-it, this might not be for you. The style of writing is breath-taking, a tour-de-force, with detailed but clear explanations of scientific points, collections of facts and events that make for gripping reading, psychologically astute descriptions of characters and their motivations, philosophical and moral commentaries that will make readers think, and I highlighted so much of the book that I found it almost impossible to choose some fragments to share, but I will try (avoiding major plot points as well):

But that’s the thing about human beings. It’s not laughter or the ability to stand upright that distinguishes man from the animals, it’s the capacity for incompetence. When any other creature makes a mistake, it gets eaten.

It was a truth universally acknowledged in the police force that the middle classes were generally terrified of the police and would shop their grannies without a moment’s hesitation once a cop asked them a question.

Ever had a sudden moment of realisation, an epiphany of the truth that marked out a momentous line in the sands of self-knowledge between everything you thought was the case about the kind of creature you were and everything that was really true? Neither have I.

I have already warned readers about the religious aspects of the book that might not sit well with many readers (no, this is not a Christian book in the usual sense, probably a book that in certain circles and in eras past would have been called a ‘wicked’ book), and there is also violence and some sex scenes (the violence is far more graphic than the sex, in fact it is so extreme that the effect is somewhat cartoonish, but I am not squeamish, so don’t take my word for it). It also deals on a serious and difficult subject, and although it does so in a peculiar way, it does not shy away from the most horrific aspects of it. Having said all that, this is a book I thoroughly recommend. It is not a book for everybody, as you’ll have surmised if you’ve read the rest of the lengthy review (sorry. I got more carried away than usual), but if you like to challenge yourself, you love outlandish thrillers, cryptic crossword clues, unique scornful narrators, satire, and are looking for a new author to follow, do yourself a favour and check it out. It’s a ride on the wild side.

Book description

After an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider goes horribly wrong, depressed scientist Aaron Gall wakes up to discover his mind and body have undergone an astonishing transformation. Now bursting with the joys of life, he is inspired to undertake a radical new therapy: to talk to the priests who brutalized him and his school friends, point out the intellectual dishonesty and inhumanity of their religious beliefs – and then eat them. Aaron enjoys the process so much (as well as taunting the police and MI5) he decides to extend his murderous conversations to include the Archbishop of Westminster, recently converted Catholic Tony Blair, the Queen of England – and, finally, the Pope himself. But a Catholic Church that has given the world the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Papal Infallibility hasn’t survived for two thousand years without a reason. Aaron is in for the greatest shock in the history of mankind.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Thriller Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent @c1v2

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent

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Right from the start this is a very unusual story. Adam has been alive forever, or so it seems to him. The novel opens with a scene from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where Adam should have drowned; but he is not like other men and would probably have suffered for an eternity had he not been rescued by Kane. They have met before – several times over the centuries – and both of them have the scars to show the many adventures they have lived through.

As the story opens Adam is living very comfortably in Monaco. A young woman has disappeared in suspicious circumstances and the police have not found her yet; Adam feels compelled to use his unique skills to rescue her. He slowly pieces together an absolutely horrific story of women being captured for the sex trade, on a huge scale, by an organisation with far-reaching influence.

Adam and Evil is well written with a cast of convincing characters, such as Joe, Sabine and Charles Mason; the villains are particularly nasty, almost caricatures, so that the reader is in no doubt what Adam is up against.  The historical detail comes across as well researched and authentic, and adds an extra dimension to the story. I could not put it down; it’s a fast-paced thriller with a touch of humour, here and there, to lighten what would otherwise be a very dark tale.

I really enjoyed Adam and Evil and look forward to reading the next instalment of Adam and Kane’s adventures in The Fire God. Thanks to Charlie Vincent for a free copy to review as one of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

Adam is living in Monte Carlo with the life most people can only dream of. The fancy house, the sports car, and the finest private wine collection in the world.

When local woman Margaux Dupont goes missing, he leaves all of this behind him to do what he does better than anybody else. Find people.

As he begins tracking her down, he uncovers a vile Mediterranean woman-trafficking organisation so vicious and cruel that nobody has ever dared confront them.

Adam isn’t just anybody though. He’s lived through all of history and confronted evil more times than he can remember.

Yet the more he learns about the traffickers, the more he realises he may have met his match this time …

Is time running out for Margaux Dupont?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery Finders, Not Keepers by @dehaggerty #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Finders, Not Keepers by D.E. Haggerty

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Book 1 of the Not So Reluctant Detective series

Finders Not Keepers is a cosy mystery, with a romantic thread, humour and suspense.  Our heroine, Terri, is a 42-year-old school Librarian with a madcap friend, Melanie and a rather dishy younger neighbour, Ryder.  Recovering from the collapse of her marriage to Alan, Terri decides to clear the attic of the last of his belongings.  While there she discovers a valuable diamond pendant, so needs to contact the previous house owner.  She is astonished to find out that Jessica, who had lived there two years ago, had been murdered, so asks Ryder, a PI, to help her find Jessica’s next of kin.

Terri is a believable character, of substance. She has a successful career but is struggling to afford the mortgage on her much-loved house.  The breakup of her marriage has sapped her confidence, but she is a caring woman who spends her weekends helping charities.  The fact that Ryder is attracted to her, fills her with amazement and she is cautious about responding to someone who might want to control her, as Alan had.  Meanwhile, Terri constantly puts herself into dangerous situations, trying to find the right place for Jessica’s bequest as well as perhaps revealing her murderer.

What I particularly enjoyed in this book is the humour. As a former school librarian myself, I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, especially, “A cardigan is a librarian’s lab coat.”  Melanie’s predilection of calling Ryder, “hot neighbour guy,” is irritating but sums up her character so well.  I shall certainly be seeking out more entertaining cosy mysteries by D E Haggerty.

Book description

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

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