The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

My Rating: 3 Stars

Date Finished: 20/09/19

Date Published:18/06/19

Goodreads Synopsis:

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods...

My Review: 

I have read the Alice series by Henry and really enjoyed that but haven't yet been sparked to read the other books she has released such as the little mermaid take or Peter Pan take. This one however, I did really fancy reading. The Alice series has a lot going for it and I feel as though the other books may never live up to how good that was. The Girl in Red was a good read but as I thought, didn't live up to Alice. 

This felt like a mixture of Henry's usual idea of fairytale turned horror mixed in with some post-apocalyptic take on the genre. So while the world is dying, Red makes the decision that she must get to her Grandmothers house so as to be safe from the outside world and the Crisis. Red also has an artificial leg which I quite liked the idea of and was a bit fresh. The story developed at a timely pace and I really liked the characters. I think my only downfall was that it wasn't as exciting as I wanted it to bed and not enough happened for me. 

Overall, it was a decent read. I will carry on picking up anymore books that Henry rolls out as long as I like the synopsis. I do hope she writes more Alice ones though. 

Happy reading. 

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

My Rating: 1 Star

Date Finished: 10/01/20

Date Published: 09/07/19

Goodreads Synopsis:

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain. 

My Review: 

I was really looking forward to this one but I was so disappointed. It was so boring. Nothing happened. The story basically just follows one families experience of being in the chain and then what happens at the end (without spoiling anything). This is by far the worse book I have read in a long time. I actually couldn't wait to finish it so I mostly just rushed through it and skipped the odd bits here and there. 

The characters were uninteresting. The writing was nothing interesting either. I also hated how the author changed the perspective every few pages and the time stamp was around half an hour later. I really hated that. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend anyone to read this book. I was so looking forward to it but there was just no excitement or twists at all. 

Happy reading. 

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

My Rating: 5 Stars

Date finished: 22/10/19

Date Published: 30/01/18

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The serial killer isn't on trial.

He's on the jury...

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert's guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie's mind.

What if there's more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn't on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

My Review: 

When I first picked this one up, I had no idea it was part of a series. So to start with, this book can definitely be read as a standalone and I loved it. I don't know why I haven't picked up any of Cavanagh's books before now. 

So the book switches between the case and the main characters such as the lawyer Eddie Flynn. But we also get to see things from the perspective of the actual killer and the lengths he has gone through to make sure he is on the jury. And damn, are they some lengths! We know who they are and the whole time you are reading, you feel like shouting at the characters to say 'it's him!'.

This was a completely different read to 'Anatomy of a Scandal'. This was fast paced and exciting in a completely different way. There was a lot to take in with this book and there was just so much going on at all times, which I really loved. You won't be disappointed if you pick it up. 

I love a good courtroom drama and this was certainly a good one. I have now purchased another of Cavanaghs books just because it was that good. I hope the next one is as much a page turner as this one was!

Happy reading. 

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

My Rating: 4 Stars

Date finished: 28/11/19

Date Published: 23/01/18

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Sophie's husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart. Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes. Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience?

Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy. Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator... Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Review: 

I had been wanting to read this book for quite sometime and then I just randomly bought in a bookshop around October time. I love legal thrillers whether in book form or on the TV. Along with horror, they are one of my favourite genres. 

I really enjoyed this book. There was some good backstory, the characters were really interesting, and there was a good few twists along the way. I wouldn't say the story was very fast pace, however, I did read this quite fast. My only downfall was the ending. After all the excitement and waiting to hear what the jury concluded, the ending to the book was what made me give this one 4 stars. There was no cliffhanger, no big explosion between the characters. Nothing. It just ended in a most general way. 

I did love this book though overall. I have recommended it to many fellow readers and those who enjoy this type book. You won't be disappointed in your purchase at all. You really have no idea which way the jury are going to go but you definitely make up your own mind before it comes in. So get reading it!

Happy reading. 

The Disappearance of Robin Murat by Gerald Darnell

My Rating: 5 Stars

Date Finished: 24/01/20

Date Published: 01/12/19

Goodread Synopsis:

Carson has been hired to locate a client’s missing brother, and it quickly gets complicated.
Somehow the missing brother is linked to a gangster who has stolen thousands from the mafia, but that link isn’t clear. Carson’s search doesn’t turn up the brother, but it does turn up a body – the body of a gangster who was on a mission of murder.
It seems that the Memphis Mafia and the Memphis Police are also searching for his client’s brother. Finding him first becomes a real priority.
The pursuit takes him to New Orleans, where a whole new mystery unfolds, which puts Carson in some very serious danger.
Then, if possible, things get worse.
More bodies appear while the Mafia chases their money, and it seems people are not who they claim to be.
This old fashion crime story takes Carson Reno and his crew on a complicated adventure, where it seems the solution may be worse than the problem.
Join our Cast of Characters and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth and try to solve the Disappearance of Robin Murat.

My Review: 

I have been reading the Carson Reno mysteries for quite some time now and never have I got bored of this series. Darnell keeps pulling these great books out and I have yet to be disappointed by one yet. So lets start at the beginning. The Carson Reno series is set around the 60s and follows Reno's detective agency 'Drake Detective Agency' at the Peabody hotel. Although this is the 19th book in the series, I can definitely recommend that any book in the series can be read as a standalone. I began reading the series around about the middle of the series and have not been disappointed yet. 

Reno travels over to New Orleans in this latest page turner to discover the mystery around a missing person called Jake Furman. I really turned the pages fast on this one and I have probably said this about every book so far but this was definitely one of my favourites so far. Darnell really seems to get better with his writing and substance within his books every time. 

There was plenty of action as always in this one. Darnell really knows how to develop his characters as well as the story. The connections between Robin Murat and Jake Furman was just one of the storylines here that really got me going to wanting more.

The cover for this book is also really great. It's stylish and has a very simple and mysteries feel about it. I have to say it's one of my favourite covers so far. It feels up to date and keeping with the premise of the book. 

Overall, another great read from a really great author. I am definitely looking out for the next book in the series and hope Darnell carries on to keep it alive!

Happy reading.

Shades of Justice by Carolyn Arnold

My Rating: 5 Stars

Date Finished: 15/05/2019

Date Published: 07/05/2019

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD. One victim is his wife. The other victim is a John Doe. This high-profile double homicide immediately pits Madison against her sergeant, who seems more intent on protecting the Malones’ reputation and retaining a benefactor than catching a killer. 

Madison will need to pull on her tenacity and courage if she’s going to follow the evidence without prejudice. In the process, it becomes clear that finding justice isn’t always black and white, and often the shades in between tell the fullest story—and it’s not something she will forget anytime soon. 

My review:

I have read a few of the previous books in the series of Madison Knight and each one has been just as good as the last. With this being the 9th book in the series, the excitement and effort that has gone into the writing has not tuned down one bit. The book, and each one previously, can be read as a stand alone book too which I always find to be the sign of a really great author. 

Detective Knight has it all thrown into her with this book; a murder, her best friends, Cynthia, wedding and an internal investigation into the corruption at the police department. This, mixed with her own personal life, makes for a roller coaster of a read. The dialogue and the environment in which Arnold writes in, the town of Stiles, are very immersive and you can picture all the scenes throughout the book. There was plenty of action from start to finish and very fast-paced; it didn't take me long to get through the book once I started. 

I enjoyed the book from start to finish and cannot wait to see what is next in store for our characters. Arnold always seems to set herself a new bar when she writes the next book in the series and has not let the series get dry like some authors do with their series. Arnold has spent so much time researching her work, her characters and the detective world. Detective Knight and those that follow within the books such as her partner, Terry, are so well written and I always enjoy each character for what they are in the book. 

I would highly recommend 'Shades of Justice' and all the books in the Madison Knight series to anyone looking for a great crime thriller book. You will not be disappointed. More people should be picking up Arnold's books and hopefully with the reviews out there, they will. 

Happy reading :) 

Literacy Promotion

After a long time out of the review game, I have decided to try and get back in there. So, to begin publishing again I am taking part in book cover challenge. The challenge will cover 7 days of book covers I love to promote literacy. 

Day 1

I have accepted a challenge to post covers of seven books I love (1 book per day for 7 days) - no explanations, no reviews, just the covers. 
Each day I’ll ask a friend to take up the challenge who I have tagged on my Facebook profile. 
Let’s promote literacy & a book list.