Friday, 30 July 2021
Thursday, 22 July 2021
When a woman’s body is found behind the club, DI Alex Peachey and his team are called in to find out who killed Vicky. But with his home life in turmoil, delving into the adult entertainment industry is the last thing he needs, especially with a case as complex as a spider's web. But due to his colleague’s sudden illness he doesn't have a choice.
Ray Diamond claims he’s being framed. His complete disregard for others means there are a lot of people who would love to see him fall from his pedestal. The question is, does anyone hate him enough to push him? And will DI Peachey be able to prove him culpable of murder before he strikes again?
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
Wednesday, 14 July 2021
NOT EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE AT A FORTUNE. BUT SHE'S ONLY ONE BURGLARY AWAY…
Photographer, artist and art forger Mikky dos Santos has had a tough life and now she’s about to steal the world’s most famous stolen painting – Vermeer’s The Concert – worth $200 million.
When Mikky’s flatmate is commissioned to paint one of the world’s most famous divas her life begins to spiral into chaos. An evil investigative journalist and a dangerous businessman are on the hunt to uncover Mikky’s darkest secrets and threaten her detailed plans.
The race is on.
I do like a decent heist story and Masterpiece certainly delivered. Set in Mallorca, London and Dresden this novel has a definite European feel and as we haven't been able to go on a foreign city break for the last 18 months this is the closest I'm going to get for now. It's a good job the descriptions were so good at bringing the places to life (and helping me decide where I fancy visiting next.
The main character, Mikky Dos Santos was an interesting one. I do like a flawed lead and seeing how her life journey made her who she is today made for interesting reading. I've always enjoyed art so an art thief/forger was an appealing hook for me - and I only had to stop a few times to look things up (and so learnt more).
With plenty of twists and danger this was a very enjoyable read for me on a week off work.
Monday, 12 July 2021
What would you do if you woke up one morning to find all your friends, family, teachers etc were gone, only your Best Friend remains? This is what happens to Tiger Lily when the shadows (our own shadows) decide to take over and collect the brightness in our lives (the Shimmer- kind of the opposite to our shadows)
Can TL save the day?
The Last Shimmer is a middle grade short story and also what I would class as 'entry level horror', more spooky than scary (the scene where TL comes across the empty school bus was one of the best I've read in a while).
At only 27 pages long it is a short read but for all that, there is a lot of story in there. And when you consider the author was only 10 (TEN!!) years old when she wrote it's an even more impressive result.
Seriously, if this quality of story comes from a 10 year old I'll be looking forward to seeing what she writes in the future
Thursday, 8 July 2021
The Kettral were the glory and despair of the Annurian Empire – elite soldiers who rode war hawks into battle. Now the Kettral’s numbers have dwindled and the great empire is dying. Its grip is further weakened by the failure of the kenta gates, which granted instantaneous access to its vast lands.
To restore the Kettral, one of its soldiers is given a mission. Gwenna Sharpe must voyage beyond the edge of the known world, to the mythical nesting grounds of the giant war hawks. The journey will take her through a land that warps and poisons all living things. Yet if she succeeds, she could return a champion, rebuild the Kettral to their former numbers – and help save the empire. The gates are also essential to the empire’s survival, and a monk turned con-artist may hold the key to unlocking them.
What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever – if they survive. For deep within the southern reaches of the land, a malevolent force is stirring . . .
The Empire's Ruin is a big book (and I mean BIIIG!). A big book needs a big story and a strong start - and here Staveley delivers in spades.
When we join the action Gwenna Sharpe and her team are on a retrieval mission on the last remaining Kettral (giant war hawk, big as a bus - see, there's that word again 'big'). As rescue mission the plan seems solid enough but soon goes to hell in the proverbial handcart and the Kettral is lost. For this Gwenna is demoted by the Emperor and sent on a quest to unknown lands to find the original nesting ground of the Kettrals and restore the one thing the Empire really needs.
I'll be honest, I was up for this book as soon as I saw the characters would be visiting 'unknown lands' as that is my passion with fantasy fiction - seeing new lands through the eyes of others who are also seeing it for the first time. And again Staveley pulls out all the stops. Oh, and there are maps - not 1map but MAPS!! plural (seriously, it's as if the author and publisher know the exact sweet spot to get me to pick up a book).
There are three character arcs in 'Ruin' - Gwenna, Akiil (possibly my favourite arc) and Ruc and all three carry the story well without it getting bogged down anywhere (this is 700 small print pages but felt nowhere near as intimidating as that may seem).
This is only book 1 of a new series that carries on from the author's The Unhewn Throne series (which I also loved) but can be read without prior knowledge of TUT (although why would you want to miss out on that really).
This is going to be on a lot of people's Books of the Year lists I think and deservedly so
Thursday, 1 July 2021
This Fragile Earth is set in a 'near future' Britain but, to be honest, it could be just around the corner. In this setting people are, pretty much as they are now, dependent on computers, gadgets, tech. Everything can be controlled by a click, a swipe, an app and as you'd expect, when these things start to go awry everyday life goes to hell. People have no access to their money, the food they have soon goes off as the tech fridges stop working, the water and power soon fail and people cannot even get in/out of their homes (electronic access and egress).
When the police and army are seen patrolling the streets and people start going missing Signy decides it's not safe in London any more and sets off on foot with her family (partner Matthew and 6 yr old son Jed) for her old family home in the Northamptonshire countryside in the hopes things will be better there.
This book really ticked all the boxes for me. I've long wondered what will happen when the tech we all depend on stops working and Wise handles this really well. The way people panic and regress to more animalistic ways quite quickly feels pretty much spot on.
As for the characters Signy and Matthew worked well as they are really only still together for the sake of their son (so more friends than lovers) but I wasn't so sure about Jed (I think he annoyed me too much at times) but for the most part their group dynamic worked.
The tech they depended on felt feasible and not too far fetched which is probably what makes the setting quite unnerving and the early scenes where this was introduced to the reader was done really well. It's remarkable that this is a debut novel.
One final thing I will say, if I owned a movie or TV company I would be wanting to snap this up straight away
A well deserved 5/5*
Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour, Gollancz for providing the review copy and please have a read of the posts by the other bloggers involved (below)