Review of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

I’m still haunted by the final scenes of this atmospheric novel. I can hear the pool Unknown-1 (1)water ripple at The Cliff House and smell the salty air, as the oppressive heat of the day bends to the will of grief with each step into the darkness. Continue reading “Review of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings”

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Review of Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson

This is a beautifully written epistolary novel that examines the choices that people Unknown (2)make out of loyalty, love and friendship and those made out of fear and misjudgement. Hope was the overriding feeling that I was left with as I turned the last page. Continue reading “Review of Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson”

Review of Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

The fifth novel in the series featuring DI Marnie Rome begins with one of the most 51vhVU0xb+Lfast-paced and dramatic scenes to date, as a prison holding her foster brother – Stephen – is on lockdown due to an outbreak of extreme violence. Stephen is in hospital along with other casualties and a prisoner has escaped. The whole event is clinically described by an unnamed prisoner from their hospital bed, emphasising the horror within the chaos. Continue reading “Review of Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary”

Review of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

My first introduction to the Camino de Santiago was when I went to watch The Way starring Martin Sheen with my friend Christine. Both of us felt the pull of the walk by the end of that movie and Christine set about making plans to actually do it, but then her life was ended by illness within a short time of announcing her plans.

Christine’s desire to walk the Camino came flooding back the second I withdrew the advanced review copy of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist from the envelope, and I couldn’t help smiling and thinking about her, while also feeling sad that she never had the chance to fulfil that last ambition. I wish I could share this book with Christine because she would have loved it as much as I do. Continue reading “Review of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist”

Review of The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton

Here’s a novel that explores the origins of myths, legends and faith through a vision of a dystopian Ireland set sometime far in the future. A rain soaked landscape run by gangsters, despair and relentless misery. A place where a little golden flame of hope flickers in the form of young boy in yellow skins who falls in love with T, the daughter of the Earlie King, and who vows that he will protect T’s child after she dies in childbirth.

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The story is told from three perspectives: Word of Ward – Fran Ward, former officer of the law and the last true Irishman, who is the storyteller and recorder of the events that follow, and contact of O’Casey – the journalist who is determined to record every vicious crime and death at the hands of the Earlie King and his Earlie Boys, despite the fact that no one will have the courage to print it. The second perspective is that of Mr Violence – the ever present voice of death that haunts rain slashed pages and the last comes from The Play – a production set in the lounge bar of the Pit & Pendant Pub, which gives voice to the Early King and his leftenants.

A digital downfall is on the way and the whole of society is crumbling, lost in the war between the Earlie King, the vigilante Vincent Depaul (the pyrotechnic champion of the poor) and the uselessness of the police, known as the Heavies. Independent thought is crowded out by the onslaught of technology and insight is lost along with the illumination of the sun. While the continuing environmental disaster escalates the rot, poisons the fish in the seas and deforms the children. Continue reading “Review of The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton”

Review of Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham

Newham has written a timely and relevant police procedural with a gripping plot that kept me turning the pages from start to finish. The novel features Bangladeshi Detective Inspector Maya Rahman who has just returned home from the burial of her beloved brother, Sabbir, only to be informed that the head teacher of her former secondary school in East London has been murdered. A white card has been left behind with the body featuring one of the five ancient Buddhist precepts:

I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.

This engaging debut explores the challenges of living, working and gaining an education within a multicultural environment. Within the first few pages the reader is introduced to the burial rites of the Bangladeshi faith, which are moving even as it becomes clear that Rahman is incredibly upset about certain aspects of the service due to the treatment of her brother from many quarters.

Meanwhile at the school back in London, new teacher Steven learns on his first day that the lives of the pupils have been disrupted by other forms of violence prior to the murder of their head teacher. Steve’s challenge is how to bond with the pupils in his class and his new colleagues within an atmosphere of escalating distrust and fear. Continue reading “Review of Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham”