Tuesday 31 March 2020

BlogCave of Solitude - Day 2 (Into The Binge)

Well, here we are in Day 2 of many. Been looking through box sets I own today, see what I'm going to binge watch (between reading, chores and a probably rather pathetic attempt at yoga).

Will it be a Buffy rewatch, a Warehouse 13 rewatch or yet another attempt to get through Firefly? I've also got 5 more seasons of Game of Thrones but that one's for the evenings and slowly catching up with Elementary (recorded from Pick on Freeview (but more on that later).

Then I remembered an online conversation in a Facebook group yesterday on the subject of tv series that finished too soon. My offering for this was The Fantastic Journey, a short lived (10 eps I think) from 1977. This series used to be on Saturday nights and 10 year old Andy loved it.

The premise was something to do with some scientist types who ended up going through the Bermuda Triangle and spent each episode in different 'worlds' trying to find their way home. It aired on repeat 1 summer holiday around 1980 but that's the last I ever saw of it. UNTIL TODAY!!!

As I was looking for some easy yoga on YouTube I started to wonder, would it be on here? It was and now my first binge watch is sorted. It'll probably look awful now  but I don't care.  Forty or so years of waiting and I'm finally going back through the Triangle (cue Barry Manilow earworm 😂)

Earlier I mentioned Elementary, the modern take on Sherlock Holmes set in NYC, and my personal favourite version of Holmes and Watson. This leads me to the idea for my next BlogCave of Solitude post idea - The Great Detective himself in all various forms (may have to be string of posts actually)

And as for yesterday's book, Fifty Fifty - started it last night and it's looking at least as good as Thirteen.

Stay Safe and see you next time

Monday 30 March 2020

BlogCave of Solitude Day 1

Hello and welcome to the BlogCave of Solitude . Seeing as I have been placed on 12 weeks Shielding for the good of my health (thanks to this damn virus that's going on a world tour) I thought I'd try and do a bit more blogging. Lots of books and stuff to get through. . .

Day 1

So, late last week I finished reading Thirteen, a courtroom drama 'with a twist' (as these things seem to be titled these days). To be fair 'with a twist' could well be understatement of the year - there were so many twists here that I had no real idea who was the guilty person until the very end. Very cleverly written so all made sense in the end as the author, Steve Cavanagh - himself a former civil rights lawyer - leads you by the nose down a path where you are assailed by red herrings from all sides.

The gist of the story is that the wife, and one half of the latest movie world power couple is murdered and the husband is seen at the house even though he says he wasn't there until later when he found the body (along with the body of the couples security chief) and called it in.

We know from the off that the suspect didn't do it and 'twist 1' the murderer is at the trial. . . but not just at the trial. . . oh no, he's ON THE BLOOMIN' JURY!!! (that's not really a spoiler, it's on the cover).

Lawyer Eddie Flynn is on the trial of his life - that's if he gets to the end of it!

This was a cracking read, although a tad ott in places so I looked up the author on amazon, only to find this was the fourth book in a series. I'll certainly be going back for 1-3

So, that brings us back to today and the postie knocking on the door and leaving a parcel on the front wall. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it as the cover was quite distinctive

What I didn't know (well, I probably did at one time but there's a lot of other stuff going off at the mo) was that this was book 5 in the Eddie Flynn series. The next after Thirteen!

And it sounds just as twisty too.

A house

A dead father

Two calls to 911, one from each of his daughters, each accusing the other of murder.

Both are to go on a joint trial but which one is lying? Which one is a murderer? How many twists will there be this time?

Day 1 in the BlogCave of Solitude is off to a cracking start.

Also, during these weeks ahead I may be able to make a dent in my boxset viewing. . . More on that tomorrow

Stay Safe

Friday 20 March 2020


 Hello and welcome to the Blogtour for Michael Farris Smith's latest novel, Blackwood. This is an eerie, creepy tale with a large helping of the Southern Gothic about it.

It is 1976, and a family of drifters (only referred to as Man, Woman and Boy) turn up in the small town of Red Bluff where there car breaks down. At the same time Colbert returns to town as a junk yard sculptor looking to take up the offer of free workspace in exchange for maintenance.

Red Bluff seems reminiscent of any small town America horror film setting, complete with the invasive Kudzu vine that surrounds the town and covers and smothers all it can.

Soon enough two children go missing and Red Bluff goes from being quiet to being full of TV and press reporters, as invasive as the Kudzu in their own way. There is a lot of dark bleakness in this novel but that doesn't stop it being a stunning piece of fiction. I would advise everybody to get hold of this if you can


Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour and apologies to all for being a day late but it's strange times out there in the world.

Please, if you find time, have a look at the other blogger's pieces on this tour.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei

Welcome to Day 3 of the Blogtour for Chan Ho-Kei's Second Sister, a Honk Kong based tale of cyber-bullying and the grief it can cause.

An orphan schoolgirl in HK jumps to her death from a 22nd floor window and the sister who has been raising sets out to find out the reason why.  What follows is a tale of all things cyber (online bullying, hackers, the power of social media and the inability to keep ahead of the game) mixed in with all you would expect from the seedy underbelly and Glitzy sides of Hong Kong (from the Triads to the shining lights).

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the read, even if some of the tech side of things baffled me a little at times. The pace was quick and the authors showing of HK painted a vivid picture in the mind's eye.

In a time when the word Hacker still makes readers think instantly of Lizbeth Salander it's good to have a different enough character in 'N' to carry that side of the story.

Thoroughly enjoyed my time in this book and will certainly be looking for more from the author in the future

4/5 *

Also, a word of praise for whoever did the cover design - this is a stunning and beautifully coloured cover

Many thanks to Bei Guo at Midas Public Relations for inviting me onto this tour and to Head of Zeus for providing the review copy.

Please, if you get chance, try and have a look at the reviews by the other bloggers on this tour - we really do appreciate it.

Friday 6 March 2020

The Treadstone Resurrection by Joshua Hood

Welcome to Day 11 on the Blogtour for Joshua Hood's dip into the Jason Bourne universe (henceforth to be known as the Bourneverse).

So, short form round up - Our hero Adam Hayes is an ex Treadstone operative who got out when it robbed him of any chance at a normal life. Soon after he recieves an email from an ex-colleague Hayes is attacked by a 'team' at his place of work and must retrieve all his old skills to find out who and why. He may be 'out' of Treadstone but is anyone ever 'out out)?

So, no Jason Bourne here but a new character instead (although cut from much of the same cloth). No amnesia for Hayes and enough of a different personality to be seen as not just a JB/Matt Damon clone. As you would expect from The Bourneverse this is a rapid paced, cat and mouse type tale that often leaves you guessing as to what/where next and is guaranteed to keep the pages turning with the speed of a CIA trained operative.

I was slightly unsure coming into this novel as I am a big Bourne fan but it's safe to say The Bourneverse is in safe hands with Joshua Hood and, who knows, maybe another Movie Franchise could be possible.

7/10* Recommended

Thanks to Anna Zanetti at Midas pr for inviting me onto this tour and arranging the review copy and please, as always, try and find time to look at the blog posts by the other reviewers on the tour.

Thursday 5 March 2020

Deep State by Chris Hauty

Welcome to the penultimate day on the Blogtour for Chris Hauty's thriller Deep State.

When intern Hayley Chill finds the White House Chief of Staff murdered it is down to her to find the killer as she is very much in a 'trust nobody' position and it seems The President is the next target...

Hayley Chill is ex-military, trained boxer and the best thing to happen to action thrillers in a long time. I guess she bares comparison to such as Jason Bourne but she is much, much more than that.

So, Washington based thriller, unknown killers, President under threat and only one woman to save the day - all adds up to a cracking story that kept me up well into the night. Hopefully this will be an ongoing series as I certainly want more from Chill and Chris Hauty.


Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and Simon and Schuster for providing the review copy.

Please, if you can find the time, have a look at the blog posts by the other reviewers on this tour.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks

Welcome to Day 3 of the Blogtour for Alan Parks' 3rd Harry McCoy thriller Bobby March Will Live Forever.

The Bobby March of the title is a local boy turned rock god who is found dead from a drugs overdose in his hotel room after his 'homecoming' gig. McCoy is investigating this case as well as a series of bank robberies while his colleagues are searching for a missing girl (a case McCoy has been banned from by his corrupt boss).

And on the side McCoy is also searching for the Chief Inspector's nie e (strictly off the books).

In other hands this could be a rather 'busy' and confusing book but Parks does a good job of keeping everything ticking over nicely. The story of March's rise and decline, interspersed throughout the story helps break things up I guess.

The setting for this series (so far) is 1973 Glasgow and it is not a pleasant place. A dirty, grimy city, full of corruption and crime, ganglords and bent coppers. No, not a pleasant place by any stretch of the imagination but Parks (forgive the cliché) brings it to life on the page - and I love it!

When I first got asked to review this I looked at the other titles in the series and decided to start from the beginning. I'm glad I did as themes run through the series but each can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Final point, I've seen these books billed as Tartan Noir - don't be fooled by that, they aren't 'noir' they are absolutely Tartan Pitch Black and Alan Parks is a major talent.

5.5/5* Very Highly Recommended

Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour, Cannongate books for supplying the review copy and please, if you can, try and have a look at the other blog posts by the reviewers on this tour.