Wounded Animals [review]

Wounded Animals by Jim Heskett

[Synopsis]

While nursing some drinks after a terrible day at work, Tucker Candle spits out his rum and coke when a stranger across the bar turns water into wine. But did he? Or was it just an alcohol-induced trick of the light?

This stranger has a warning for Candle: skip your planned business trip tomorrow. If you go, I won’t be able to protect you any longer.

With a clear head the next morning, Candle resumes his normal life, working for a company that’s about to lay him off. That barroom huckster couldn’t have been magical, or prophetic. He was just some washed-up weirdo with a few tricks.

But when Candle comes back from his trip to find his pregnant wife missing and a dead man’s blood seeping into his bathroom floor, the washed-up weirdo’s counsel doesn’t seem so foreign now.

Cops, friends, family… Candle doesn’t trust anyone. As he searches for his wife, people around him keep turning up murdered. If he can’t find her and uncover the mystery driving the chaos, the stranger’s words might come true, after all.

Wounded Animals (Whistleblower #1)

[My Review]

Wounded Animals by Jim Heskett managed to be sharp, witty and fast paced without seeming rushed or cliched. It’s a fun story to read and really packs a punch in its 200-odd pages.

Main character Tucker is a likeable character, (though I did think he could have been a more supportive husband to his wife- but he admits to this himself!) The story moves along quicklyand kept me guessing, which I really like. It had humour, action and intrigue and I could have read on for much longer. I was a little disappointed when I realised suddenly that I was near the end (this seemed to come round all of a sudden and almost abruptly, but I really liked the ending anyway!)

I would like to read any sequels, if Heskett were to release them (the fact that it is billed on Goodreads as Whistleblower #1 suggests he may be writing more) and learn more about Tucker Candle as a character. I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give anything away, but I would highly recommend this novella- I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

[Rating: 4/5]

** Many thanks to the author who provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review **

The Winter Wedding [review]

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements[Synopsis]

Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie’s summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel’s expertise soon spreads.

But Hazel’s clients expect the very best – she’s promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say ‘I do’? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?

The Winter Wedding

[My Review]

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements is the first of her novels I’ve read; I didn’t know what exactly to expect but I really enjoyed it! It felt in some ways like a typical chick-lit novel but this isn’t a bad thing; it’s well written, uplifting and Christmassy- perfect for this time of year!

The story’s narrator and protagonist, Hazel, is a really likeable character. She seems really independent and, although stuck in a bit of a tricky situation at work and having suffered an embarassing rejection from her best friend (and crush) Sam, she seems to remain quite upbeat considering. I liked her and enjoyed reading about her and was rooting for her to be happy at the end!

There were plenty of uplifting parts, and funny moments which made me laugh. The storyline was in some ways predictable but it was never dull; I cared about the characters and loved reading about Hazel’s wedding planning!

I’d definitely recommend this novel if you fancy something light-hearted, easy to read and heart warming. A fun ‘Christmas cracker’!

[Rating: 4/5]

**Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review **

Nobody’s Child [review]

Nobody's Child by Libby Fischer Hellman

[Synopsis]

A bloodstained note left for Chicago PI Georgia Davis reveals the shocking existence of a half-sister she never knew about. That sister, Savannah, is pregnant and begging for Georgia’s help. Determined to track her down, Georgia finds herself heading deep into the dangerous underworld of Chicago’s illegal sex trafficking business.

She soon discovers that trafficking is just a small part of the horrifying and deadly situation in which her new sister is caught up.

Even worse, as Georgia tries to extricate Savannah, she comes up against an old enemy determined to make sure neither woman will escape alive. In the fourth novel of the Georgia Davis series, she faces her toughest challenge yet—and one she might not survive.

Nobody's Child (Georgia Davis, #4)

[My Review]

Nobody’s Child by Libby Fischer Hellmann is a really enjoyable, fast paced mystery novel which had me hooked from beginning to end!

Being the fourth novel in the Georgia Davis series, I was a bit worried that I would need to have read the first 3 to really understand and enjoy Nobody’s Child. There did seem to be some issues from previous novels but the author explained any required information really well, so it wasn’t an issue at all!

The characters were all well developed, with Georgia being a likeable and interesting protagonist. I certainly felt like I wanted to read more about her in the previous three novels. Poor Savannah certainly had a horrendous time of it, and even though she seemed a bit annoying at the beginning I warmed to her as the novel went on.

The story line moved along at a good pace and seemed very well researched- at least as far as I could tell- with issues such as sex trafficking, abuse, robbery among many others. The novel starts off with her investigating a ‘flash rob’ at a shop, and along with this there are a few kind of ‘sub story lines’ too, including Georgia discovering the existence of a half-sister (though this soon becomes the main story line really as the novel continues, in my opinion) and developing a romantic interest in another cop. This blend of mystery, romance and tension created a great novel that I loved reading.

I didn’t feel that any part of the novel was dull and I really raced through it as I didn’t want to put it down! I’d really like to read the first 3 novels and learn more about these characters!

[Rating: 5/5]

** Many thanks to the author, Libby Fischer Hellman, for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review! **

Have you read Nobody’s Child or any of this series? If so what did you think?

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday [25 November 2015]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself- as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments- and I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?


A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Nobody's Child by Libby Fischer HellmanThe Winter Wedding by Abby Clements

 

 

 

 

 

 

What have you finished reading?

This week I finished A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. It actually took me quite a while to read because it didn’t really grip me, so I didn’t feel as eager to pick it up and read it to be honest! That’s why I only have one book for this section this week. I’ve posted my review here.

Nobody’s Child by Libby Fischer Hellmann. I was approached by the author to review it and it looked so interesting that I couldn’t resist, despite my towering ‘to-review’ pile! I’ve had it on my list for ages but have only just got the chance to start reading. It’s actually the fourth novel in the Georgia Davis series but I’m really enjoying it! Here’s my review: https://snazzybooks.com/2015/11/25/nobodys-child-review/

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements; a lovely Christmassy novel ideal if you want to get into the Christmas mood. Review to follow very soon!


Wounded Animals by Jim HeskettWinter's Children by Leah FlemingWhat are you currently reading?

Wounded Animals by Jim Heskett, the first in the Whistleblower series which looks full of action and suspense!

The Winter Children by Leah Fleming- I haven’t read any historical fiction for a while so this is a nice change. I’ve only just started it but it’s had great reviews and I have heard that Leah Fleming is a brilliant author.


Brunch at Ruby's by DL WhiteW
hat will you read next?

If I finish the above books in time then I’ll try and start on Brunch at Ruby’s by DL White. The author sent me a copy of this novel and it looks like a good, fun read!

Lots of DIY to do this week sadly so not sure how much time I’ll have to read- hopefully will get a good amount done though and continue making my way through my TBR list!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

A Spool Of Blue Thread [review]

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

[Synopsis]

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

A Spool of Blue Thread

[My Review]

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler left me with mixed feelings. I am aware that it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015 and that Anne Tyler is such as fantastic, well-loved writer. However I also know that, whilst reading this novel, the story didn’t quite captivate me as I wanted it to, or in the way that books I enjoy always do.

Anne Tyler’s characterisation, as always, is brilliant. They are all convincing, three-dimensional characters that you can really imagine meeting in real life. There are quite amusing situations where you think to yourself, “Ah, my grandma/ grandad/ mother/ father” etc would have done that, and there are figures of speech that the characters utter which ring true and familiar throughout. I love that aspect of the novel, and enjoyed learning more about the characters and their family life.

The novel hops backwards and forwards throughout time; it starts in 2012 and then moves further backwards in time, occasionally returning to the present again, before rewinding right back to Abby and Red’s parents. I got a little confused at times, when reading this particular timeframe, as I kept imagining Abby and Red, not their parents, and for me it was a little hard to get my head around after reading so much about the generation after them. I did enjoy reading about how Abby and Red met, though, and the present day story where everyone tries to come to terms with some upsetting news.

I think for me the problem with this novel is that, although I was really interested in most of the characters and did enjoy reading about them, there wasn’t a point when I felt like I hugely cared what would happen to them. I found some of the narrative a little dull, and I wished we found out more about what exactly was going on with Denny’s character. As I got towards the end of the novel I kept thinking something was going to be revealed about him, to explain his sullenness and general air of mystery, but this didn’t really happen. I suppose this reflects real life to a greater extent, as you don’t always find out everything about everyone, but as a reader I felt a little disappointed.

I would say, if you are an Anne Tyler fan, to give this a go as it is an enjoyable read overall, but don’t necessarily expect it to be her best. From discussing it with others it seems this is a common opinion- though certainly not absolute, as I’ve seen many 4 and 5 star reviews too!

[Rating: 3/5]

** Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review **

Are you an Anne Tyler fan? What did you think of ‘A Spool Of Blue Thread’?

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil [review]

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
[Synopsis]

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

[My Review]

Career of Evil is the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, which I have absolutely loved so far- see my review of the first two, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. So I was really excited to read this installment!

The characters in this series are so great, and they’re just as brilliant in this novel. I love Cormoran as a character, and Robin is such a strong, likeable female. Neither of them are perfect- and certainly in this novel I questioned both of their judgement in certain situations- but they seem real. I still believe that the characterisation in this series is one of its strongest points (along with the storyline too, though, obviously!)

The writing is witty, entertaining and intriguing, and as usual we are given clues as to who may be the real killer as the novel goes on- not that I had any idea, which is usually the case- but reading it as they unravelled it was, as always, really entertaining.

One thing to note is that I did find this novel a lot darker than the previous two; the subject matter, although centering around murder like the first novel, seemed much heavier and, at times, quite disturbing! I still hugely enjoyed it though, if enjoy is the right word… it actually had me thinking about it for days after, particularly when I was walking alone in a dark area or debating walking down a dark alley- something I haven’t even risked doing since, due to visions of the killer in this novel.

I enjoyed reading about Strike and Robin’s relationship  (or ‘non-relationship’ as it might be deemed!) Robin’s relationship with Matthew is tested and the ending left me wishing the next novel were out already so I could read on!

The storyline itself was perhaps a little less absorbing and not quite as full of twists and turns as the previous novels. I don’t know if it quite lived up to them, but I feel that’s more because the first two were such brilliant books. It would certainly be hard to top them! I’d certainly recommend this for fans of the series, and it’s got a storyline that doesn’t strictly require reading of the previous two- but I’d strongly advise you do so that you full understand the characters and their background.

[Rating: 4/5]

Have you read Career Of Evil or any of this series? If so what were your thoughts?

The Mine by John A Heldt

The Mine [review]

The Mine by John A Heldt[Synopsis]

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity.

He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books.

But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever.

THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

The Mine (Northwest Passage #1)

[My Review]

The Mine by John A. Heldt was an absorbing, intrguing novel that I was thinking about for quite a while after I finished it!

Obviously, because it’s a time travel book, you do need to suspend your disbelief whilst reading due to the inclusion of time travel itself (then again, who knows if this is actually possible anyway!), and some of the characters did seem surprisingly accepting of certain situations and possibilities.

The characters were all well developed and interesting, though I liked some far more than others! I actually wasn’t sure about Joel as a character at the start but as the novel went on I hugely warmed to him and felt really invested in what was going to happen to him. The people he meets in this alternative time-scale were also, on the whole, interesting characters and this added to my enjoyment of the novel.

I loved reading about 1940’s America and felt that John Heldt created (what I imagine to be, anyway) a really convincing and atmospheric world that Joel had stumbled into. The idea of time travel itself, and that possibility of accidentally or purposefully altering the future course of history is so fun and interesting! There were obvious comparisons between this story and Back To The Future, but this is pointed out by the narrator himself and as I read on I soon forgot to draw any comparisons because the story comes into its own. It really left me in a quandry as I considered what I’d do in Joel’s situation and I liked that this novel made me think!

I’ll say right now that The Mine didn’t end how I expected it to – I knew the author had written a sequel so that affected what I thought would happen at the end, but this turned out to be wrong! I can see now that he’s actually written a further 4 novels after this one in the Northwest Passage series, and I’ve purposely not looked at the synopses either before reading this novel or once I’d finished it, in case it gives anything away for future reads. I hope to read numbers 2-5 as I’d love to see how the series progresses.

This novel surprised me in many ways. It made me smile and made me think, and I would really recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy, science fiction, history and romance all mixed together! This combination isn’t something I read often at all, but I really enjoyed The Mine and would definitely like to read more from the series!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review. 

Visit John A. Heldt’s blog here and find The Mine on Amazon here.

Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

Stranger Child [review]

Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

[Synopsis]

One Dark Secret. One act of revenge.

When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.

Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.

Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.

Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?

When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.

They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right.

Stranger Child (DCI Tom Douglas, #4)

[My Review]

Stranger Child by Rachael Abbott was this month’s book choice. I was really pleased it had been picked as I have wanted to read this for a while, and it’s just thy sort of book I always find myself really getting into- so I wanted to see if it was as good as I expected.

We all felt that this novel was really fast paced and engrossing; everyone in our group really enjoyed it, and the people who don’t tend to read psychological thrillers like this said that they would definitely read more of her work and of the genre too, which was brilliant!

The characters were interesting, and some of them were not quite as they appeared which is always fun to read! All them made us want to read more about them, even though some were actually really horrible characters! They all seemed quite realistic and convincing, which is something I really like about her writing; though we might not in any way agree with all their actions, we can understand why some of them may have behaved the way they did. There were twists and turns, and the storyline moved along at just the right pace, leaving us wanting to read more. Tom Douglas seems to be a likeable, interesting protagonist who you’re really rooting for and I can certainly see how Rachel Abbott has built up a whole series around him!

This is actually the 4th book in the DCI Tom Douglas series; the lady who picked this novel had read others but the rest of us hadn’t. We didn’t feel like this had any negative effect whilst reading it though- it just made us want to read more! There is a new novella called Nowhere Child, out at the moment, which appears to be a sort of sequel to Stranger Child. So if you enjoyed this, check Nowhere Child out – I know I will!

[Book Club Rating: 5/5]

Next month:
[Synopsis]

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

A Spool of Blue Thread

Have you read Stranger Child? If so, what did you think?
WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday [11 November 2015]

WWW WednesdaysWWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself- as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments!

I will try and do these as often as possible, though not sure I’ll be able to get a post out every Wednesday as things are a bit crazy at the moment…

Anyway, the three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

A Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan ColemanThe Mine by John A HeldtWhat have you finished reading?

This week I finished A Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman.This was an ARC from Netgalley and I hadn’t read any of Rowan Coleman’s novels before. Read my review here.

I also finished The Mine by John A Heldt which I really enjoyed! It’s nice to read some indie novels and my review will be up soon so keep an eye out for it!

Career of Evil by Robert GalbraithWhat are you currently reading?

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith which I’m SO EXCITED about because I loved the first 2 novels. Really enjoying this one too – it’s definitely darker than the first two so far but I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing!


What will you read next?

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne TylerNobody's Child by Libby Fischer HellmanI’m not 100% sure yet but either A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (I want to see what all the fuss is about!) or another indie I have on my ‘to-read’ list: Nobody’s Child by Libby Fischer Helman. This is the fourth novel in the Georgia Davis series but I’m hoping I won’t need to have read the other 3, as the author contacted me about this book and it looked really interesting! I’m really trying to make a dent in my review list before adding anything new 🙂


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

A Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

A Home for Broken Hearts [review]

A Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

[Synopsis]

Is there a cure for a broken heart?

Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.

On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?

A Home for Broken Hearts

My Review

A Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman is an entertaining novel that remains an easy read, despite centering around some quite serious subjects (all of which I won’t list so as to avoid any spoilers, but a main one being grief/ loss). As the reader you see Ellen’s awful heartache over losing her husband, and how this affects her interaction with her family and, most significantly, her relationship with Charlie, her son.

The characters were all quite convincing and I was rooting for some of them by the end. They each seemed to develop in their own way which I liked; Ellen came out of her shell and felt like she could start to live again whilst I definitely felt that Matt was a bit of a twat at the start of the story- I really didn’t warm to him at all but he did develop into a more likeable, mature character as the novel went on. Whether, in that space of time, he’d really go from a men’s (Zoo, FHM & Nuts style) magazine writer immersed in ‘lad’ culture to a mature, committed man is debatable, but for the purposes of the book it’s quite nice to read about, and I do enjoy

Don’t worry- I haven’t given anything away that you won’t guess pretty early on, or that you can’t see form the synopsis! It’s obvious from the beginning that certain characters are going to go through big changes, and it’s pretty obvious how, as well. It was certainly quite predictable- I saw one significant twist coming a mile off, and I knew from pretty much the start of the book how Matt was going to fit into the story. This is kind of typical of the ‘chick-lit’ genre though, so I expected to guess what was going to happen. The fun bit is reading how, and though there were plenty of cliches, Rowan Coleman never made the story too cheesey, which I was really pleased about.

The passages from the romantic novel which Allegra was writing were quite entertaining, and an amusing sidestep from the main story, though it all became interlinked at the end anyway. I don’t tend to read a lot of proper Mills & Boon style romances, but those kind of storylines can often carry you away into another world so effectively!

I felt that this was an enjoyable chick-lit novel which is unlikely to surprise the reader, but will nevertheless entertain them as they read- and to me, that’s the main criteria. It wasn’t right up there as the best I’ve read from this genre, but it’s worth a read if you like a pleasant, easy chick-lit read.

[Rating: 3/5]

Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.