The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz [review]

The Sentence is Death

Title: The Sentence is Death
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Series: Hawthorne
Publisher: Cornerstone

[Synopsis]

‘You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late… 

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…

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[My Review]

The Sentence is Death is another brilliant novel from one of my favourite authors, Anthony Horowitz. I particularly enjoy this series as it’s definitely different from most other ‘crime’ novels; I love the self-aware style of writing. Anthony Horowitz writes as himself, having been employed to write three books about ex-Detective Hawthorne. This is the second – the first one being The Word is Murder, another great novel [read my review here] – and throughout Anthonoy includes references to his life as a writer, his family and much more. It really feels like you’re reading a story that’s really happened, and I love the way Horowitz vents his frustration with people and the book industry in general through The Sentence is Death‘s pages (I loved the part where it’s suggested he should “write a Bond next”, to which Horowitz admits it’s something “I’d wanted to do all my life” – and, of course, he has now written Forever and a Day!)

Both ‘characters’ of Hawthorne and Horowitz are brilliant, though Hawthorne is, at times, deeply flawed and an unlikable character – there are MANY things about him I dislike, and yet I can’t help but want to read more about him because the story is told through Anthony Horowitz’s humorous, entertaining voice.

The plot is just as enjoyable as The Word is Murder, and though there are some (I feel) obvious parts that I did sort of see coming, there were also some really clever surprises as the story went on.

This novel is satisfyingly self-aware, really clever and definitely entertaining – I loved every page. I’m already looking forward to book no.3!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Cornerstone for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

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This Old Gal’s Pressure Cooker Cookbook [review]

This Old Gal's Pressure Cooker Cookbook

Title: This Old Gal’s Pressure Cooker Cookbook
Author: Jill Selkowitz
Publisher: Quarto Publishing

[Synopsis]

Whether you are new to the electric pressure cooker or are looking to get more out of yours, this is your go-to reference for perfectly pressure-cooked and delicious food.

Incorporate from-scratch cooking into your busy life with 120 recipes that include all the traditional favorites, plus a range of international dishes—and the best cheesecake recipe you will ever taste!

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[My Review]

For anyone with an Instant Pot (or any other brand pressure cooker), this is a great recipe book to inspire and instruct you to create some brilliant meals.

I love the variety of cuisines this book covers – there’s recipes from so many countries including Greek, Indian, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai and many others! The instructions are clear, the photos are inspiring and there are some handy notes to accompany the recipes which I imagine would be useful whether you barely use your pressure cooker or you’re a seasoned pro.

As is usual for a pressure cooker cookbook, a lot of these recipes are meat-based (as with meat the pressure cooker really comes into its own), so if you do eat a lot of meat this book will be right up your street! If you’re veggie or vegan you’ll be a lot more restricted, of course, but there are still some tasty recipes you can try out from this book and I found some I’ll definitely be giving a go soon. There are also some surprising recipes, such as desserts that I never imagined you could cook in a pressure cooker!

I’m really impressed with this book, it definitely makes pressure cooking seem clearer, and think it would be an excellent gift to yourself or others!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Quarto Publishing for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

The Night She Died [review]

The Night She Died

Title: The Night She Died
Author: Jenny Blackhurst
Publisher: Headline

[Synopsis]

On her own wedding night, beautiful and complicated Evie White leaps off a cliff to her death.

What drove her to commit this terrible act? It’s left to her best friend and her husband to unravel the sinister mystery.

Following a twisted trail of clues leading to Evie’s darkest secrets, they begin to realize they never knew the real Evie at all.

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[My Review]

The Night She Died kept me guessing from the first to last page. Filled with mystery and memories, and opening with a real shocker of a scene (a bride jumps to her death on her wedding day, and her best friend seems to know much more about it than she’s letting on), I found myself completely hooked.

Now, there are some parts in this story where you may have to suspend your disblief for a little, but it’s an entertaining, intriguing read so I think it’s well worth it. The present-day story is mainly told from Rebecca’s perspective, who is dealing with the aftermath of Evie’s death and trying to comfort her husband Richard, but there are also a lot of flashbacks to Evie’s childhood and teenage years which slow unwrap the lead up to the wedding-day drama. I loved the sense of unease within its pages that come from not knowing who’s telling the whole truth, and there’s plenty of betrayal which makes for interesting reading, all the way through to the satisfying ending.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Headline for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

The Importance of Being Aisling [review]

The Importance of Being Aisling

Title: The Importance of Being Aisling
Authors: Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Series: OMGWACA
Publisher: Penguin

[Synopsis]

You can take the small-town girl out of the big city – but can you take the big city out of the girl?

Job. Flat. Boyfriend. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Aisling (seems) to be winning at life. But life has other ideas.

Fired. Homeless. Dumped. Tick. Tick. Tick.

When everything comes crashing down around her, moving back in with her mam seems like a disaster.

But might returning to her roots provide the answers Aisling’s looking for?

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[My Review]

The Importance of Being Aisling is a welcome return to the world of Aisling and friends, as she deals with some significant life changes and plenty of other challenges thrown at her. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are some hilarious moments (as always with Aisling) and some slightly more emotional parts than the last book, as well.

I love Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s writing in this series; the characters are just brilliant (and if you have Irish family, friends or similar, I’ve no doubt that you’d find it even more entertaining, as I’m sure many of the references would resonate more with you) and the storyline is entertaining, fun and at times very comical. Some parts are silly but it’s great fun to read, and Aisling is a brilliantly entertaining character and one I’d happily read more about, so here’s hoping there’s many more books to come in this series!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Penguin for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

The Importance of Being Aisling is out in ebook format now.

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Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward [review] @JacquiAnnC ‏

Perfect Ten

Title: Perfect Ten
Author: Jacqueline Ward
Publisher: Corvus Atlantic

[Synopsis]

An explosive debut thriller about one woman’s search for revenge – and the dangerous chain of events she sets in motion…

Caroline Atkinson is powerless and angry. She has lost more than most – her marriage, her reputation, even her children. Then one day, she receives an unusual delivery: lost luggage belonging to the very man who is responsible, her estranged husband Jack.

In a leather holdall, Caroline unearths a dark secret, one that finally confirms her worst suspicions. Jack has kept a detailed diary of all his affairs; every name, every meeting, every lie is recorded. He even marks the women out of ten.

Caroline decides it’s time to even the score. She will make this man pay, even if it means risking everything…

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[My Review]

Perfect Ten is a brilliant read packed full of betrayal, rage and good old fashioned revenge. I thought it was a lot of fun and I found myself staying up until the early hours, wanting to finish it.

Main character Caroline is definitely not the most level-headed woman you’ll ever meet – but the more I read about what she’d been through with husband Jack, the more I understood why she felt the anger that she did, and by a quarter of the way in I’d have happily punched Jack in the face myself! Jacqueline Ward has created some truly powerful characters in Perfect Ten, in that they really provoked feelings in me – whether positive or negative – and made me root for Caroline. She was definitely unhinged and definitely extreme but I loved reading about her and was behind her all the way – I was definitely #TeamCaro!

This isn’t all thriller, it has plenty of emotions wrapped up inside it as well, and I like that this novel is a mix of genres – women’s fiction and thriller being two of them! It’s firmly rooted in the 21st century with a lot of Caroline’s revenge centering around Facebook and technology, but this doesn’t cheapen the story like it has with other books I’ve read – it simply made me picture myself in Caroline’s position today and helped me identify even more with her.

Perfect Ten is a lot of fun and addictive reading. Clear a few hours in your diary and enjoy!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Readers First for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!