Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE MEMORY BOX by @EvaNatiello #Mystery #Thriller

Today’s second Team review is from Terry, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello


The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is one of the most unusual books I’ve read in a long time. I’d class it as a psychological family drama/thriller/mystery … it’s hard to classify and hard to review, too, as it’s imperative that I don’t give away the terrific twist. And it really IS terrific, not like some books hyped as having an unguessable twist that half the reviews say you can suss out in the first chapter.

Right, so we start off with suburban housewife and mother, Caroline Thompson, who doesn’t fit in with the image and doesn’t really want to; she detests her gossipy, nosy, trivia obsessed neighbours. Slowly, we begin to see exactly how much she doesn’t fit in; this is one disturbed woman. But is everything as it seems? Caroline’s whole psyche is affected by the mysteries and half-memories of her past. Why did her sister die? Is she really dead at all?

I grew more unsure as I read on, and had questions: why did none of her friends or family make Caroline seek help? How come her husband just accepted all her excuses for forgetting stuff, acting strangely, etc? She was clearly undergoing a severe emotional breakdown. But then, in part two, the last ten per cent of the novel, the whole story turns on its head; such an unexpected turn of events. Before, I was going to give this 4*, because I found some of Caroline’s muzzy-headed thoughts a little repetitive and I thought the premise wasn’t completely feasible, although I was certainly enjoying it.   Once I’d read the last ten per cent, I realised it deserved 5, without a doubt. Quite brilliant!

I LOVE the way this lady writes, it’s sharp, acutely observed, slightly manic in a way that really works, with some clever, amusing metaphors. Highly recommended to anyone who likes something a bit different. Great ending, too; that’s another little about-turn, after the terrific twist, by the way!

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THE UNRAVELLING by @ThorneMoore @honno #Mystery #Thriller #fridayreads

The UnravellingThe Unravelling by Thorne Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four point five stars.

The Unravelling is a dark mystery/ thriller set in England. It opens with a churchyard scene, and then drops back to two different periods of time for Karen Rothwell, one when Karen is an adult and the other set in 1966 when she was a ten year old schoolchild.

Adult Karen is a mess, on medication and regularly under a psychologist. She is assigned a health worker monitor her bouts of depression, her eating habits and her distractions which cause trouble at work. Karen suffers from memory loss, she has blocked out a traumatic childhood experience for years. She escapes into books where she can be the heroine and lives their lives rather than her own.

On a cold bleak January day an apple from a broken shopping bag rolls away down a drain, as Karen scrabbles after it a lost jigsaw piece of memory slots into place and the locked memories begin to slowly unravel. Karen hides away at home, sketching faces as wisps of her memory return and raise more questions.

We are taken back to ten year old Karen and her love and admiration for Serena Winn, the most popular girl at school. The one who attracted friends like bees to honey, the angel of the playground. Serena could do no wrong and her friendship was a gift closely guarded by her loyal bullies. Yet Serena showed Karen kindness, where others shunned her.

Adult Karen believed that Serena held the key to her lost memories and so she searched for her, what she found was a shocking truth, with secrets and guilt hidden away. Her one strength was her determination to get right to the very bottom of what happened on that fatal day in 1966 which would affect her for the next thirty-five years.

Thorne Moore knows how to build up a tale with layers of tension for the reader to unpeel, this was a pleasure to read.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT A Company Of Roses by Megan Goodenough @Book_Meg

Today’s team review comes from Terry, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review A Company of Roses by Megan Goodenough


A Company of Roses by Megan Goodenough

3 out of 5 stars

A mystery-thriller with a historical twist—wealthy young artist Lacey disappears after a boozy night out, and leaves friend Cas with cryptic clues to find both her and an Elizabethan treasure that holds the key to a dark conspiracy. Cas soon finds out, though, that she is not the only person looking for Lacey; enter Reuben, attractive undercover government agent who pretends to be an insurance investigator, accompanying Cas as she races around the country.

This novel started promisingly, with a nice bit of Tudor intrigue followed by the girls’ night out on which Lacey goes missing, as observed by Reuben. Cas is a most engaging character throughout, and I think she would appeal very much to other twenty-something girls just out of university and embarking on life in the working world, while partying hard—I liked her, she was very well drawn, and Reuben appealed to me straight away, too; I could see why Cas was so taken by him.

The book is very current, with some acute observations, like the description of girls shopping for engagement rings with their boyfriends as ‘sharp toothed trophy hunting demons’ (I loved that!), and Grandma’s advice that ‘it’s not people’s right to know things about you, even if they think it’s their right to ask’—so true! People familiar with the cities in the book will like reading about them, and the plot is a great idea, too. I’m afraid it didn’t quite work for me, though.

Many thrilling government conspiracy stories are perhaps a little far-fetched (though, indeed, who knows?), but even in fantasy the activities of fictional characters need to be feasible, and Cas’s almost immediate sussing out of the beyond cryptic clues and charging around the country followed by Reuben was, on many occasions, too unlikely to make me able to suspend my disbelief. Then there were instances like her buying a single ticket to York instead of a return, even though they were the same price and she needed to get back – this was explained as a hangover from her wacky student travelling days when she never knew where life might take her, but a ticket from Brighton to York must cost something in the region of £100, and Cas was just an ordinary working girl. Or Reuben leaping across over a bridge to stop a fight in a neighbouring carriage, then charging back in time catch their own train, even though it was moving off as he was running up the stairs (the doors would be closed!). If these sort of things don’t bother you, though, you’ll enjoy it.

I think a good, professional edit would iron out the daft/unlikely, and the few errors (things like something being ‘five foot away’ – it’s ‘feet’, ‘foot’ is the singular), and also it’s a bit messy, with some oddly or clumsily phrased sentences and narrative that needs tidying up. I believe this is Ms Goodenough’s debut novel; she clearly has a good imagination and storytelling skill, and this is a fair start. I wish her all the best with her writing career.

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Perfiditas by Alison Morton

Perfiditas (Roma Nova, #2)Perfiditas by Alison Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perfiditas is book 2 in the Roma Nova series and is a mystery thriller. I really enjoyed book 1 Inceptio and the concept of the Roman nation continuing thousands of years later and being run by the female lines of families. The second book continues with lots of characters from the first book and takes place approximately 7 years later.

Captain Carina Mitela works for the military, but is also the junior head of her Roman family. She must wear many hats of duty in her everyday life. When a secret token makes it’s way to Carina, she realises that a friend is in trouble and a organises a quick military rescue. It soon becomes obvious that a much deeper plot is afoot and Carina must go to extreme lengths to save her nation.

The writing is filled with Roman names, traditions and words which make the world of Nova Roma seem all the more genuine and believable. There are a lot of characters to get your head a round and many have several alias which makes it all a bit more complicated. It’s a very good storyline and to get the best from it I would strongly suggest reading the first book in the series prior to this just so you understand the whole scenario and can immerse yourself fully in modern Roma Nova.

This review is based on a free copy of the book which I won.

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A False Dawn by Tom Lowe

A False DawnA False Dawn by Tom Lowe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mystery thriller set in Florida. Ex-cop finds a girl dying and promises to find out who committed the crime. The trail leads to a deep unsavoury world of trafficking.Can Sean and Max find the killer before he finds them?

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