I’m often asked what I like to read, the answer is simple – just about anything! My choice does tend to lean towards mysteries and thrillers, but not exclusively so. In the past I have given reviews on various books in newsletters and blogs, but thought it was time that I had a dedicated page for readers to browse, and here it is. At the bottom of this page is a selection of books I’ve read, and to which I will continue to add. They are in no particular order. With authors such as, John Grisham, James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Lynda Le Plant, Patricia Cromwell etc., it’s fair to say I’ve read most of what they have published.
I hope you find something that takes your fancy, scroll through and simply click on the title or cover and you will be taken to Amazon to check out the blurb, and see if it appeals. If you enjoy a book you have read, please don’t forget to leave a review. It means so much to an author to receive feedback from readers, and it helps make the book more visible on Amazon for others to find. If you would like to recommend something you think I might enjoy, please feel free to comment below.
Currently in the queue to be read:
Here are my thoughts on those I’ve read:
A Place of Execution – 5+* My book of 2020!
This is my read of the year. It’s had been published almost 20 years before I read it! I couldn’t turn the pages past enough. It was so well written and authentic, it was as though it had been written based on actual events. Even though I’d worked out what the reveal was going to be, it was still a great read to the very last page. October 2020
What a good read. Thoroughly enjoyed this, had no idea where it was going until I got to the end. The story of two sisters, with secrets in their past which come back to haunt them. Recommended. July 2020
An atmospheric book, that leaves you in no doubt of the horrors or war. We follow the experiences of Charlotte a teenage nurse sent a hospital near the front line. Here she finds the joy and pain of love found and lost, and the brutality of which mankind is capable. Oct 2020
Wildflowers is the story of three African Americans following their childhood friendship in the 60’s through to their middle age. Wonderfully written, poignant and educational (for a white woman from the UK) You invest your emotions in the characters, each struggling with their own issues and demons, right up to the last page. September 2020
Storyline kept me turning pages in the beginning, but I worked out ‘whodunit’ earlier than I should have been able to, but mainly due to the limitations the location presented. August 2020
It’s been a while since I read a Rebus novel, and I enjoyed it. Few parts of the storyline are a stretch, but it is fiction, so accept and move on. Rebus is a fabulous character, and it’s a shame he’s retired. Think he needs to become a private investigator. August 2020
When Damien Penrose is found dead at the Royal Baths it appears that his murderer has disappeared in to thin air. There follows and investigation which is a cross between Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. September 2020
Really enjoyed this book, and the investigator, Lucy Thorne. For someone based in the UK, it still shocks to read about the fanatical religious chapters dotted around the US, and how even non-believers allow and even cover up their damaging practices. October 2020
A sad tale set between war torn Europe and present day. Max knows his days are numbered, and is thrilled when his daughter goes in search of his wartime lover and their child. Good read. August 2020
Enjoyed the story, although I couldn’t take to Polly at all, even allowing for her childhood. The story moved along at a reasonable pace, and the last few chapters are very exciting as you wait to see who will triumph (if it can be called that) in the end. May 2020
What a horrible read (in the best possible sense). I was so caught up with the characters and the tension of the situation, I almost didn’t want to turn the page for fear of what might happen next. Highly recommended and my book of the year so far! June 2020
What is wrong with Rawlingswood? No one who lives there, lives happily. So found out the Speilman family when they thought they’d found a bargain. Interesting to read the families back story alongside their current woes. Felt particularly sorry for teenager, Hunter, who was a nice lad despite his parents. Lovely little twist at the end. Jan 2020
I enjoyed this, wasn’t sure which way it would go when I first started reading. I liked the main characters, was hoping for a twist that didn’t come as I’d worked out who ‘it’ was, but still an enjoyable read. May 2020
Really enjoyed this book polished it off in two sittings. I really appreciated the light hearted way the book was written, more than a few smiles raised, without detracting from the ‘whodunit’ element. Loved the two main characters Jock and Dylan, and didn’t guess who was kidnapping the May Queens until just before the reveal. April 2020
I enjoyed this book, not least because I didn’t see or expect the twist, which I love. I really enjoyed getting lead along the wrong path, as Devon attempts to solve the murder of her best friend. Feb 2020
A story of three women with relationship issues who find themselves renting apartments in the same house. The Landlord who inherited the house from an aunt, with some very odd caveats, is a little strange. On finding a partial note arranging to meet one of them at a café, they all hope the note was for them, but as the senders name is no longer there. They agree they will go to the café together to see who the note was for. A story of changing relationships, with some great characters who were well rounded and easy to accept. All totally different in age and outlook. And then of course there was the attic. I enjoyed this book, an easy read and recommended. Feb 2020
A four year old girl is kidnapped and presumed dead, but her father never gives up hope. When he believes he’s dying, he makes one last ditch attempt to find out what happened and hires a private detective. A young woman lives in the basement of a house. Totally reliant on the man who keeps her there, she has vague memories of her previous life, and yearns to be able to go outside, but doesn’t run because she is to frightened of the beating she will get if she tries again. When the two stories collide, the twist is one I didn’t see coming. Jan 2020
Not my usual type of read, but I liked this book. Lovely storytelling with some great characters. A story of friends with dark secrets and second chances, and it has a happy ending of sorts. March 2020
A kidnapping investigated by two brothers. One the Private Investigator father, the other the policeman uncle. I liked the plot, the setting and the atmosphere, but the actions of the policeman, even though this is fiction, were just too far fetched not to be dealt with by his superiors, and therefore my disbelief kept dragging me away from the story. March 2020
This starts with the horrible death of a pregnant woman, which is probably murder. The cop investigating has a personal interest he doesn’t declare, and together with the victim’s sister, they are determined to kind the killer. I didn’t guess ‘whodunit’ until near the end, should have been a five star read, but it didn’t grip me as it sort of wandered a little mid-way. Feb 202
An interesting read where you’re not quite sure who the ‘bad guy’ is going to be, and your guess changes from chapter to chapter. None of the characters are particularly likeable, although you do have empathy with Elle. You do get there before the end (and the reveal), and there was one little twist I didn’t see coming. Feb 2020
A real page turner for me, my kindle was never far away! A sad tale about love, loss and betrayal with a twist of course! Having read the reviews on this I wasn’t sure I would like it, it’s clearly a marmite book, although I agree with some negative comments on dialogue, I enjoyed it, and would recommend.
I have to confess I nearly abandoned this book after the first few chapters, a tale of betrayal and unrequited love, it took me a while to care about the characters, but they do grow on you. I liked Maya, although she was certainly naive, and I’ve worked with a few of the horrible characters she came across at work. It’s bumph compares it to One Day, I don’t think it’s that good, but still worth a read.
Picked this book up on a recommendation, and glad I did. Having warned my own children that once I become incapable of doing certain ‘personal’ tasks, they have to make sure I’m dispatched quickly, it was interesting to see how Guy responded to his mother, Susie’s, request. I was pleased it brought them closer together, and did have a couple of laugh out loud moments.
Having watched a recent TV adaptation of Anne Lister’s diaries, I thought I’d see how much poetic licence had been used. Probably not much. Ann was fanatical in recording even the most mundane matters. Surprisingly, I even found her shopping lists interesting, and was amused to find that when kitting out the servants for a funeral, the cook required double the amount of fabric. Interesting read.
Despite the fact I found Mary’s actions, or lack of them a little unbelievable, and it was obvious what the outcome was going to be, I read on. I was hoping for a little twist I didn’t see coming. A comfortable story about falling in love for those who don’t require any surprises.
This book started out with a great plot, interesting characters, and a need to keep turning the pages. I’m not sure what happened, whether it was LuAnn falling for Matthew or just that final chase didn’t quite work for me, but I was happy to put the book down if distracted. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but it did loose me towards the end
This is the story of a small Jewish family and their friends and family before and throughout WW2. If you had little or no knowledge of WW2 or Hitler, the plot lines in this book would seem too far a stretch of the imagination such were the horrors that the Jewish community experienced in Berlin once Hitler came to power. These escalated of course once Germany was at war. It is a sad tale, with none of the main characters having a happy ending, but then again, as the Nazi’s programme expands you don’t expect one. A healthy reminder of what happens when the people turn a blind eye to the lies of a leader promising a better future! My only complaint would be the dialogue used on occasion. Not the swear words as some reviewers have mentioned – they did exist then, but the use of mates, babes & guys etc., were very unlikely to have been common terms in pre-war Germany. It made it feel less than authentic at times. I liked most of the characters except Dagmar, but yes she seemed realistic, just not a nice person. (July 19)
I enjoyed this book, and although I did get a little bored with Tess and her inability to get over the loss of her husband, I read on. I thought I had it worked out right up to the reveal. Fabulous, didn’t see it coming twist! So gained an extra star. (June 19)
Good read. Enjoyed the suspense carried throughout the story as to what had happened to Graye so nervous about her past being revealed. She tries her best to move on, to create a new life, but with such a tragic past it . . . no, you’ll have to read it yourself (May 19)
This is a dark and tragic story, and whilst it kept me gripped in the beginning waiting to find out what horrible disaster would befall this little family, I did think that the parents, particularly the mother would I believe would have dealt with some of the issues differently, as she was both a nurse and a mother of a new born. But it was edge of your seat reading for the best part. (May 19)
Thoroughly enjoyable read. Ross & Drake have to investigate a murder committed in the early sixties, and uncover a tragic love story. Realistic characters, and a good mystery to solve. (May 19)
I grew up reading Agatha Christie, and this is one that slipped by somehow, although I have to say the story felt very familiar. Perhaps that’s just because Hercule Poirot is such a wonderful character. I enjoyed the read, but I did guess who did it and why which was never the case in my youth.
I enjoyed this, and was pleased that Catherine didn’t drop too many bomb shells on poor hubby Sean. I liked Sean, wasn’t too keen on Catherine at the beginning but she did grow on me. Good read.
I sort of enjoyed this book, some characters were engaging, others quite frankly boring. But it is a family saga, and that’s what families are like. Would have liked a different ending, for me it just sort of fizzled out.
I enjoyed this book and wanted to know what happened next, so I kept turning the pages. Whilst I still enjoyed the story, I did feel a little let down on occasion when the tension built and made you turn the next page, but then what happened was a bit of an anticlimax. That said the twist I was expecting didn’t happen, so that was refreshing.
What a tense read, certainly not for the feint of heart. I immediately liked the main character, Alex Lake, who despite her own troubles, puts her job as a child protection worker first. When she meets Ottilie, she instinctively knows the child is in danger. And what danger. This is not an easy read, but dealt with in a head on way, that says feel lucky most of you will never experience this world. What happens to the child is not detailed in anyway, but still makes tough reading, the type that stops you sleeping soundly. Harsh, honest, and compelling reading. Would only recommend it to those brave enough, and certainly not a bedtime read.
I enjoyed this book, I thought I knew who did it quite early on, then questioned that when a liar was revealed, and I wondered if possibly . . . Although it’s not stated, I think I was right. In which case this is a very cleverly written book with a great twist at the end. I don’t think some readers picked up on the subtlety of the reveal. Enjoyable read.
What a fun read. Didn’t know what to expect but really enjoyed meeting the Bombays. A Family of assassins. Light-hearted, funny, and very likeable characters. Recommended. (Dec 18)
Rebecca was abused as a child, and her abuser was never prosecuted. After a tortured life she makes it her job to save as many children from the same fate as she is able. Luring paedophiles to her home by pretending she is a child, she then relishes the job of murdering them. DI Gravel has had a tough time of it, and his much-needed holiday is cut short when body parts are washed up on the beach. Gravel was the investigating officer in Rebecca’s case, and failed to convince the CPS to prosecute. Now heading up the investigation they find their paths cross again. Not for the faint hearted, this is a nail-biting thriller. An eye for an eye – or is Rebecca no better than the men she kills? A good read, with an almost neat ending . . . what did happen to Lover Boy? Did Gravel keep his promise? (Dec 18)
Not my cup of tea. It wasn’t awful, it wasn’t a page turner. It was simply of story about life, generally a boring life and one that is played out on every street. There was nothing exciting, or traumatic, or surprising. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters except the son, and the outcome for hubby was far too obvious. (Nov 18)
This was my introduction to the Lottie Parker series and I enjoyed it. Great plot and really liked Lottie, so will definitely read some more, I guessed quite quickly who did it which did take the edge off a little, and I was therefore expecting one more little twist which never came, and there was one aspect of those involved in the cover up which while possible didn’t ring true. But overall a good read. (Nov 18)
Imagine going on a blind date and waking up bloodied and bruised, knowing that something horrible had happened, but unable to remember what. Imagine trying to get on with life with no ability to recognise faces, and knowing he was watching. That’s what happened Ali. This starts really well, you are gripped and you keep turning the pages, but then it slows a little, and unfortunately for me I worked out ‘whodunit’ about three quarters of the way through. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I missed the tension of the beginning of the story, and simply shrugged at the reveal (Oct 18)
Interesting subject matter for a humorous novel, but it was an enjoyable read. Some touching moments and a few laugh out loud moments, not the best of Mr Spalding’s novels but certainly not the worst. (Sept 18)
Great first in this new series. Jessie Coles finds missing persons, but she can’t find her own sister. When reporter Ben Morrison contacts her, they reopen the case together, both worried about what will be revealed, and so is the reader. Great characters with nice little twists here and there. (August 18)
What a great read. Someone is hiding a secret, and a new wife is trying to work out why her marriage and her life is falling apart. A good old fashioned thriller, that even as the plot unravels and you know what will happen next, you are still shocked by the revelations. Recommended. (July 18)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the reason for the gruesome murders quickly becomes apparent as does the probably killer. However, such is the detail of the investigation and private lives of the investigating officers, the pages keep turning. Recommended. (August 18)
I wanted something different to read, and what a good choice. I liked Oona. I liked Diego. I like their partnership. The story flows well with some great characters, a murder mystery to solve, and the excitement of a will they won’t they relationship. Looking forward to the next in the series. (July 18)
A promising start, and some surprising moments. It flows nicely, but the I simply didn’t manage to buy into the final twist, and that took the overall enjoyment away. (July 18)
I can’t quite put my finger on why this didn’t quite grab me as it should. Maybe because I’d guessed the twist long before I got there. Some tense moments and some shocking revelations still a decent read. (August 18)
Love a great courtroom drama from Grisham, and this didn’t disappoint. Jake Brigance is a wonderful character, and first appears in my favourite Grisham novel, A Time to Kill. Hope he features again. Set in the deep south, all sorts of trouble is unleashed when a wealthy white man leaves his fortune to his black housekeeper. Not a straightforward case for Brigance to defend, nor a predictable read. Recommended. (August 18)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the character of Billy, well written and I found myself worried about him when things started to get really sinister. Some lovely little twists throughout. Recommended. (August 18)
I enjoyed this book. I wasn’t totally convinced that Liddie would make some of the choices she did, but the neat little twist at the end more than made up for it. Also enjoyed the local Bristol references. (August 18)
WOW! This is my book of the year to date. I didn’t read the reviews, to be honest I didn’t even read the blurb. I’d read this author before, the book was on offer and appeared in my newsfeed, so I bought it. So glad I did. Wonderful characters, with stories which jump back and forth before the incident to after it, dragging you into their despair, and how they cope with the enormity of their grief. You get a glimpse into lives of the victims immediately before ‘the incident’, and it’s heart-breaking because you know what’s coming. I particularly loved the character of Eric and his relationship with Sorrel, and although I know this is a stand alone novel, I would love to think they find another cause to champion. As an aside, I’m not a huge fan of modern art – I simply don’t ‘get’ it most of the time – but I really wanted to attend that exhibition. Highly recommended.
This is a short book and handles the introduction of Knight & Culverhouse. It gallops along at a pace and most readers will know ‘whodunit’ before they are half way through but that doesn’t ruin it. For me the ending was a little OTT, I think less would have definitely been more.
Great plot, had one guessing did she didn’t she, all the way through, together with the question of what really happened to Leah in the past? Then a little twist which raises eyebrows but you accept it, and then the ending sort of lets it down. Certainly it stretched my imagination too far, but still well worth a read.
I enjoyed reading this, liked the characters and was rooting for Connie on her journey of discovery. What she found when she got home was a little unbelievable, and never thought it was laugh out loud in anyway. That said it was a touching story with some lovely moments.
An unusual tale where you are drawn into the second life of young Lee Hunter, and urge him to bring the evil Finch to justice, all the time knowing that things were never going to be straightforward, and happy endings are not promised. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the friendship between Lee and Charlie. Recommended
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the individual stories of the women who had so much to hide, and the overall ‘whodunit’ element which wove them all together. I was a little irked that all the women had to put up with troublesome men for one reason and another, but I suppose that’s what a lot of mums do when they have young children. A few reviewers said the found the beginning slow and hard going, but it was a page turner for me. I particularly loved the little twist at the end.
Lock the Door – 3.5*
I enjoyed this book, and I hadn’t worked out who had taken the baby until a few pages before the reveal, which was good as I usually get there much earlier. However, I think what happened immediately after the reveal was over the top, and detracted from the story overall dropping a couple of stars in the process
I read this, the first in the series, having first enjoyed reading the second, The Redemption of Michael Hollister. I wasn’t disappointed, what a great story! Reading them out of order didn’t reduce my enjoyment. I love the concept of having more than one chance at life, and the clever twist that you come back at whatever age you died. In this particular story, Thomas is a fifty-four year old man in a fifteen year old body, and has one goal in mind, not killing his beloved older brother for a second time. Great read, now off to buy the third in the series.
Thoroughly enjoyed this, exciting first chapter, and then it slows a little. Lots of suspense and frustration as Alex Taylor tries to find someone to believe her. I thought I knew ‘whodunit’ but was wrong the first time although I did get there in the end. Some reviews say the story line is unbelievable, and while certainly not a daily occurrence, this is fiction, and most murderers are a little unhinged, so felt they were a little unfair. I enjoyed it and would recommend.
I loved this book. A story about two totally different women, reeling from personal loss, and how they move they move forward. Their lives become interlinked quite by chance and each are rewarded in different ways following that meeting. Lovely storytelling, no fussiness just life. Either of these women could live next door. Highly recommended.
This is a disturbing book, and I liked the twist at the end, but thought Laura’s achievements in removing those who could expose her perhaps a stretch too far. But overall you wanted to know if Laura gets away with it and you keep reading wanting her to be stopped. I was surprised at some of the one-star reviews and wonder if this novel was downloaded without first reading the blurb.
I was drawn in by ‘Spell binding thriller’ tag line, and the blurb hinted at a good read. I read it to the end and the plot was okay, but I found some of the violence and gore unnecessary, the story was disturbing enough without trying that hard to shock.
I read through to the end, despite working out who did it after the second murder. As the body count rose you did try and guess what they had done to deserve their fate. What I didn’t get was what Larry saw in Deborah. The initial challenge in changing her was understandable, but then she became an overweight lazy slob, so what was the attraction? Deborah’s character was boring, selfish and unlikable so found their relationship very confusing. I wasn’t expecting the ending.
Ice Cold Alice by C P Wilson 5* This was my favourite read of 2017 – I was gripped from the first page . My 5*review: I was totally captivated by this story. I felt no guilt at cheering Alice on, as her character is so well written. There is a fabulous twist in the middle, and you totally buy into her motivation. However, I found myself wanting Alice to find some peace for herself, and while there is a promise of that, I feel that it won’t last long. I liked every thing about this novel, particularly liked Alice’s pseudonym, Tequilla Mockingbird, loved the then and now story telling, and the twist which I didn’t see coming. Thoroughly recommended!
I really enjoyed this book. Straight into the point, and then a slow build of tension as everyone close to sixteen-year-old Maggie is murdered. I did work out ‘whodunit’ quite quickly but that didn’t detract for my enjoyment, as I liked Maggie and wanted to see how she coped with the s**t that life was throwing her. Would have been five star if the murderer hadn’t been so obvious.
Having read a series of short stories by Shawn Inmon, when I saw this was due for release and the blurb dragged me in, and I purchased it. This despite my concern about the time-travel element. I needn’t have worried – what a great read! This is the second in the series, and although I haven’t read the first, everything about it worked for me. The difficulties of a man being trapped in a child’s body, and trying to keep on the straight and narrow, despite provocations, keep the pages turning, and the glow of the kindle burning well into the night. Now the others in the series have been added to my ‘to be read’ list!
The Girl with Stars in her Hair 5* This is not a genre I would normally read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the flow of the narrative, which despite the urgency of Cassie’s task, was gentle and coaxing. There were a few areas where I would have liked a little more information, but not enough to affect the enjoyment of reading this tale.
Life is short 5* I was totally hooked by this collection after the first story. My personal favourite was Bull Lick Lodge, and Christmas Town a close second. I had decided to read one each night in bed, but found the next story difficult to resist, so it only took three nights! Enjoyable, sometimes scary, entertaining read.
The Good Widow 3* Although I read through to the end, and I didn’t mind the way the story was written, something was missing for me. I think probably because the author had several opportunities to drop some bomb shells – but nothing. Little suspense and very predictable outcomes which left me a little disappointed.
Phoenix: 5* I bought this book because it was written for a friend of the author who is battling cancer. All proceeds from the sale go to a fund to help her pay for treatment. And I enjoyed it. Beatrix Rose is an assassin, and in this novella we find that she has personal problems she can’t resolve. She takes an assignment in Venezuela, where she teams up with one of author, Mark Dawson’s, other heroes, John Milton. It’s a fast paced and exciting read. What should have been a simple mission suddenly becomes complicated, when the scientist they were supposed to bring back to the UK gets killed and a baby is found. I won’t say more, buy the book by clicking on the cover or the title, and find out what happens. I promise you will enjoy it
Concealment: 4* I liked Amy, I particularly liked little Amy, and will have to read Exposure to see if she is still around. I enjoyed the story, although I would have liked a little more background on some of the other characters which would have explained some of their personality traits. That said, a satisfying read and I will be buying the next in the series.
Everything You Told Me: 3* I enjoyed this book for the first few chapters, an intriguing opening kept me turning the pages. Unfortunately, I worked out ‘who did it’ quite early on, but it was so soon into the book, that I kept reading waiting for the twist. There was one, albeit small, and I felt let down that that was it. For me it was simply an okay read because I expected more.
The Silent Child: 4* I was a little worried when I chose this book, as the subject matter is so emotional. As a parent, you can’t bring yourself to think about being in that situation. As it turned out, other than a natural instinct to want her to protect Aiden once he returned, I found the story was more about Emma, than it was her son, the silent child. I only guessed ‘who did it’ a little before the reveal, which was a nice little twist. I did find parts of the book a little slow. A bit more of life from Aiden’s viewpoint would have been good to increase the tension. But overall an enjoyable read.
And here are some of the others I’ve read in the past: