Review: Flight by Isabel Ashdown


An excellent read – 4 Stars!

Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 21st 2015 by Myriad Editions

Buy ebook now at:   AMAZON UK ,  AMAZON US

                    Paperback:  WATERSTONES UK 



Moving between the beautiful coastline of Cornwall and the left suburbs of London, 'Flight' is a story of secrets and lies – and of the indelible traces that are left behind when someone tries to disappear.

When Wren Irving's numbers come up in the first ever national lottery draw, she doesn't tell her husband, Rob.  Instead she quietly packs her bags, kisses her six-month-old daughter Phoebe goodbye, and leaves.

Two decades later, Rob has moved on and found happiness with their oldest friend, Laura.  Phoebe, now a young woman, has never known any other life.  But when Rob receives a mysterious letter, the past comes back to haunt them  all.  With their cosy world thrown into turmoil, Laura sets out to track Wren down and discover the truth about why she walked out all those years ago.


What I liked about this book:

This is a story about three people; Wren who cannot cope with being herself as a mother and wife, Rob her husband, and Laura their friend who is full of life, and fits neatly into the golden trio bringing it love, laughter and life.  Told through individual perspectives bringing a quality of story telling that is a delight to read.This is one of my favourite lines because it captures a complete essence with a snapshot line.

“The sole of the bongo player’s leather boot flapped at the heel, snapping in rhythm with his stride, opening and closing like a lazy mouth”.

Imagine this: you love your friend, you love your husband, your child but you simply cannot stay because you feel…what? Stifled, isolated, dead inside. Ashdown offers a glimpse into the rare unexplained pain of the fear of motherhood and marriage. What should have happened is that your best friend Laura should have stayed with you and Rob, the three of you could have survived together, but grown ups leave behind the group of ‘besties’ and split into adult relationships.

As a mother it is nigh impossible to understand how any one could abandon their child, but reading this story brought a memory back of a friend (with mental health difficulties) who did the same thing for similar reasons and I was blown away by Ashdown’s perfect account of the emotions surrounding the whole thing. Such wonderfully, softly written complexity of life that speaks the unspeakable.

Wren’s life in Cornwall is quite enviable with life itself melting into the landscape. Isolation in the most beautifulest of places, self sufficiency and a cottage just big enough for one and a couple of dogs. But, life has a way of finding you and catching up.

However this is definitely not a predictable book at all, it not simply about how they each cope emotionally, it is about secrets that will shock and change everything forever.

I would definitely recommend this book for those who like complex stories of relationships.

I am so please to have received this book as a Goodreads first reads winner. Thank you!

Review: A Year Unplugged: A Family’s Life Without Technology | by Sharael Kolberg


I do love to read about how people live their lives different to mine and I was not disappointed. Kolberg is a great writer, there is no superfluous drivel, only what we want to read and it is such an enjoyable read.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 577 KB
Print Length: 391 pages

ISBN13: 9780988961043

Paperback, 389 pages
Published March 5th 2015 by Sharael Kolberg
ISBN 0988961040
edition languageEnglish

You can buy it here:    AMAZON UK   or  AMAZON US

Goodreads synopsis:

In A Year Unplugged, Sharael Kolberg chronicles her family’s brave attempt to wean themselves from technology in an effort to reclaim quality family time. The Kolbergs decided to turn off their television, unplug their iPods, iPhones, laptops and digital cameras, and disconnect from e-mail, cell phones and the Internet. Not an easy task.

Sharael’s true-life tale explores how dependent we are on technology and the impact it has on interpersonal relationships and society. Through thought-provoking, humorous and heart-wrenching narrative, Sharael hopes to compel readers to open dialogue about the conscious use of technology.


What I liked best:

A Year Unplugged: A Family’s Life Without Technology reminds us how our lives have changed beyond recognition within a relatively short time. For us older people, we remember as children living the life she has written about (and I am only in my sixties!) However, for Sharael and her family her life has always included technology so how could she possibly know any different, especially as we now live in a world where technology is the norm.

This was one brave decision for her to make especially for family with a child aged 6. I loved reading how not only did their lives change but they grew as people. There is an envy that I feel at how they pared their lives back to a simplicity focussing on peace within themselves and nature around them.

Katelyn loves Hannah Montana and the funniest line I am reading is this,

“Yes, she is overly commercialised, but the bottom line is that Miley Cyrus was a little girl with a dream of becoming a singer and now she’s living that dream. I want the same for Katelyn, minus the flashy clothes.”

Not sure of I know of anyone who wants their daughter to emulate Miley Cyrus! (I think she may have changed her mind later).

I love how there are many intelligent and pertinent quotes throughout this book. Kids are cash cows, and Sharael show us this with Disney’s mission statement which is,

“To create high-quality content and apply innovative technology to raise the level of consumer experience in a way that differentiates Disney.”

She then describes the must-have merchandise that accompanies all Disney films generating even more income.

There are so many wonderful quotes thoughtfully accompanying her story I felt totally inspired by reading it.

“First I cleaned my garage, now I am cleaning my mind of clutter. Reading now allows me to enjoy some peace and quiet, both externally and internally.”

I can identify with this totally, moving to a smaller place I simply got rid of (freecycled) most of my possessions and it was so cathartic.

When we are so proud of multitasking Sharael shows how it is indicative of life crammed with exhaustive doing, instead of peacefully living.

The influence on six year old Katelyn is profound, of course she misses technology but she also embraces the world around her giving her a new perspective on life. Sharael volunteers gardening and creates a friendship garden in her home with her Katelyn.

“I had no idea that volunteering my time would inevitably lead to bonding with my daughter. What a wonderful gift.”

It is sadly obvious, how her husband Jeff is not able to unplug totally because of his job and therefore misses out on giving more attention to their daughter missing out on the same closer bond. Kolberg shows how people get sucked into the norm of husbands working full time, then when they get home to ‘finish/prepare a report’ for the next day. Yes they spend their time hiking and other outdoor activities instead of sitting in front of a tv screen is positive family time, but it is a sorry state for the world to be in where companies insist on 12 hour day working time to ‘keep in the game’ so to speak.

“I had an epiphany. I might not be who I think I am. I thought I could not live without technology, but I can. Technology has been such a huge part of who I am – defining my career, social life, relationships, education, interests. I’m realising that I can be someone other than who I thought.”

Writing this review I realised I had noted so many passages that inspired me and wanted to personally keep. In fact if I passed on all of them I would basically be re-writing the book here!!

Whoever thinks unplugging is easy, read this book. Whoever thinks technology does not affect your children, read this book. Read it anyway because there are lots of ideas to bring you closer together as a family.
Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for an ebook copy in return for my honest review. (less)

Review: Season of Longing: Seasons series # 3 | by Sadie Matthews


The Prologue got me hooked straight hot hot!  I gave this book 4 stars.

Paperback, 368 pages – Also Available in Kindle

Published: March 12th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN 1444781227

(ISBN13: 9781444781229)

You can buy it here:    Amazon UK    or     Amazon US


Goodreads synopsis:

All Summer Hammond has ever wanted is love and security. Now, she feels terribly alone. Her sisters Freya and Flora are consumed with their love affairs, and worse than that, their father has finally lost patience with his wayward daughters, deciding he will cut them off financially for good. The shock of rejection hits Summer hard and she decamps to LA, where she meets Jack Fiori, a gorgeous Italian American. The attraction between them is unmistakable, and when Jack invites Summer on a trip to Vegas, just the two of them, she eagerly accepts. But it soon becomes clear that the trip was a ruse. To her horror, Summer realizes she’s been kidnapped. But Jack won’t listen to her explain she’s no longer an heiress. For a kidnapper, he seems curiously uninterested in money. Summer is sure that Jack isn’t going to hurt her, but she needs to find out why this is happening. Gradually, the intensity between them builds to levels neither of them can resist. And Summer will find out the secret of why Jack has brought her here and what he hopes to gain…


<strong>What I liked about this book</strong>

Now, I am not normally one for reading steamy novels because they don’t always have that much excitement in them for me. I was pleasantly surprise by Season of Longing because it was a great story to go with the sex!

It is well written making a very enjoyable read. Just the thing to read as a light hearted steamy/romance/bad guys turn out good guys book.

The lives of rich three girls go bad after their father has a new woman in his life years of being alone after their mothers death, and he cuts them off financially to fend for themselves. Two have relationships with people he doesn't approve of and the third, Summer, is terrified to have any relationship. Sounds predictable doesn't it…but wait this is a great story and one which had me gripped throughout.

The steamy intimate scenes were beautifully executed, and maintained each individuals personality so that it was not just token sex thrills for the reader. Get what I am saying here?

The characters were great, I too fell for Jack, oh that rippled body! That intense mystery about him. I disliked their billionaire father intensely but understood the world he lived in was far removed from ordinary people.

I enjoyed the flow of this book as it took me on a great journey. Sadly though I see this is the final book in the Seasons trilogy and I have not read the first two, although I am thinking that they too will make cracking reads!

Do I recommend this book, hell yes, and the first two if they are anything like this one!


Many thanks to the publisher for a paperback copy of this book for my honest review.

Review: Mortal Threat (Threat #4) – by A.J. Tata


Published January 15th 2015 by Washburn Books
original titleMortal Threat
edition languageEnglish
seriesThreat #4

Buy now at:  Amazon UK,  Amazon US or other book stores

Goodreads Blurb…..

Medical school student Amanda Garrett and American doctors working secretly in Africa have found a cure for the Ebola and Human Immunodeficiency Viruses. Leaders of the Islamic State want the cure so they can show the world Islam is a benevolent religion that all Africans should follow. The President of the United States believes an alleged 30,000-year-old Sub-Saharan religious text called The Book of Catalyst identifies him as being of divine origin. As Amanda operates her portion of the clandestine CIA Project Nightingale in a Tanzanian orphanage, she is attacked and chased by brutal killers called The Leopard and The Cheetah. Amanda has 48 hours to escape across the Serengeti Plain before the remaining vials of the cure expire. The Islamic State escalates attacks across the Middle East using freshly converted fighters from Africa. The American President, however, chooses not to deploy sufficient troops to save U.S. Special Forces, including Amanda’s husband, assisting in the air war against ISIS. As Amanda attempts to save the rapidly decomposing formula for the Ebola and HIV cures, she finds herself at the center of a clash between warring media titans, Jonathan Beckwith and Zhor al Rhazziq, who are following her every step toward the Olduvai Gorge, which some scientists claim to be the origin of human life.


What did I like best about the story:

I liked how the character Beckwith was manipulating the situation including the US President in his bid to get the formula for the ‘cure’ and find the tree of life. There was some very complex and clever thought out plot lines with him. I like how it showed the effect of religion producing war in countries. The US President just amplifies how gullible people in power can be. This is a complex political plot that includes several nations.

I also liked how Amanda’s character was both soft and caring, but with a no-nonesense strength inside which she shows later when in danger. It is good to see her be a real fighter instead of a whimpering woman. Us girlies who love a bit of excitement and adventure love to see a woman get stuck in with a weapon of some sort.
What did not work for me:

I believe Kiram and Mumbato are suppose to represent good and bad in their characters, with Kiram being the good ‘boy’ and Mumbato not always making the right decisions, however their characters are not quite strong enough to show this.

There was a bit of a ‘boy’ toy thing going on with detailed description of Beckwith’s yacht which to me seemed superfluous so I didn’t bother reading that bit! I do struggle with passages where the descriptions do not seem to add to the story.

I struggled with the continuity of various scenes in different countries, where more than one country is involved and different villains with different agendas it became very complex.

When the religious consequence of the new information is revealed I was not over-awed. It was like an ‘oh right’ moment.

I would give this book a rating of 3 stars, but I know that many will find it a thrilling read because there are some great scenes in the plot line, worth a read.

I didn’t know this was the fourth book in the series, maybe the first three would have given me greater understanding.  There is also a lot of advertising blurb about what a great book it is, which seems a bit of overkill to me.  I really dislike it when I am being bombarded with “fantastic, great read, best ever, exciting, thrilling, book of the year” type of hype because it immediately makes me think that why do they need to push it so much if is brilliant?  In my eyes a book speaks for itself, rather than its marketing strategy.

Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for a copy in return for my honest review.

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


What an absolute joy to read! 

Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage Digital (18 Jun. 2015)

ISBN: 978 070 118 9068

Publishers: Chat & Windus
Translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies

Available to buy from:      AMAZON UK or other online or High street stores.

Synopsis by Goodreads:  

This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.

It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair


This is a delightful Sunday, curled up on the sofa with a hot chocolate book.

Sara living in Sweden accepts an invitation to visit her book reading pen pal, Amy, in Broken Wheel, Iowa USA and arrives during her funeral.

Amy was an influential force in the town and learning who she was brings Sara into the heart of Broken Wheel until she herself becomes influential in the towns future centred very much around books.

I enjoyed this perceptive observation.

How could it be possible to have travelled thousands of miles and still be the same person when you arrived? Sara couldn’t understand it.

I understand how that feels!

The town of broken wheel had given up ‘life’ long ago with its inhabitance just getting by until Sara arrives and opens a book shop. We learn about each of their lives, hopes, and fears through Sara, and Amy’s letters to her.

This is such a sweet book written by someone who loves books, for people who love books. I am not just talking about the written word but books themselves. When Sara is introducing a young girl Sophy to books she gets her to smell each book and experience how each one is different.

Sophy lifted the book to her face, still cautiously and carefully, and slowly breathed in through her nose. she smiled.
‘Can you smell it? The scent of new books. Unread adventures. Friends you haven’t met yet. hours of magical escapism awaiting you.’

(I was there smelling those books with her with the anticipation of adventures to come for me, know what I mean?)

Make no mistake this is not just a ‘nice’ book to read, there is a real mix of individual stories encompassing gender, sex, separation, racial harmony, vulnerability and more.

And of course there has to be a love story and although reasonably predictable it is not really the main focus, but is a delightful thread throughout. The soul of the town itself is the focus which is of course its people, and most people have an interesting story to tell… Knowing Sara’s tourist visa is about to run out the town sets about finding a way of keeping her there.

I have to say I stayed up till the early hours finishing the book because I was enjoying it so much.

A definite recommended read.
Many thanks to the Publisher via NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Review: Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner – ☆☆☆☆☆


A well deserved 5 stars from me,  I just love a book that is not predictable!

  • Format: Kindle Edition
    File Size: 1621 KB
    Print Length: 352 pages
    Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0525954562
    Published February 3rd 2015 by Headline (first published January 1st 2015)
    Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    Language: English
    ASIN: B00NT7YO1W
  • Paperback:  ISBN 978 1 4722 20226
  • SeriesTessa Leoni #3

Available to buy now from AMAZON UK and AMAZON US as well as many other online stores.

This is my first Lisa Gardner book I have read and love her writing style.

Intriguing, mysterious, perplexing, disconcerting, exciting, sad, beautiful, painful….



I’m in hospital after crashing my car. I am afraid. The only thing that I can think about is Vero. I know I have to save her but why couldn’t I find her? She’s just a little girl.

The man standing in my hospital room tells me we are married but there is no Vero. That six months ago I suffered a traumatic brain injury which caused changes to my personality. I have dramatic mood swings, an inability to concentrate and large gaps in my memory. I’m much easier to anger these days. And I drink. All of which he says explains the car accident and my confusion.

Now a Sergeant Wyatt Foster is investigating. He has questions about the car accident. He has concerns about my husband. And he’s worried about a missing girl.

He would like to know what happened to me. So would I.

My name is Nicky Frank. This is my life.

Watch me crash and burn.


My Review

How do you review a plot that is so brilliantly perplexing? Right from the start I could not guess at ‘what comes next’ or even ‘can I believe what I have just read’.

More than once I felt the narrative from ‘Nicky’ was sharing intimate moments of her confusing past with me alone. I felt the sadness and misery, the longing for it all to go away; but also couldn’t wait for the next sentence to reveal more and more.

Please don’t let this book end but please let me get to the end to discover the terrible secrets!

So, Crash & Burn is a book of secrets that kept me in suspense the whole way through. So many times I said to myself, whoa didn’t see that coming, no way. How many surprises can one book have? Let me tell you lots and lots…

Nicky’s car goes over the edge and down a ravine, injured and bloody she crawls back up onto the road and tells the emergency crew to find Vero.

This is not at all a depressing book to read, there are some lovely descriptive lines that says much more. I love the description of the Audi Q5 car she is driving:

“One of those vehicles designed to haul groceries, half of a soccer team plus the family dog, and look damned good doing it.”

This is Nicky’s third concussion and her head is already a mess of confusion and hidden memories. Thomas Frank her husband sits at her bedside, he is the man she both loves and fears, why?

‘Vero wants to Fly’ Who is Vero, and what does it mean? What a terrible start to life Vero had, how do you survive something like that?

Investigating a car crash Sergeant Wyatt is drawn into towards hints of child trafficking, forced prostitution, and a thirty year old kidnapping. Wyatt cares about his job and there is a nice touch when Gardner sets out how he will do all he can to find answers rather than hand this case over:

“Wyatt had given the matter a lot of thought, mostly because it was his thought to give”

When Wyatt goes to interview Nicky at home after her accident, he sees her battered and bruised face. I read this with the thrill of excitement – game on, I thought knowing that Gardner was going to throw something different to her reader:

“But the woman was standing. Head up. Eyes clear. Wyatt felt that thrum, big-game hunter on the prowl. This morning was looking good.”

Reading this book is like trying to untangle a ball of string that has become completely tangled. Where is the beginning and where is the end, and how has it got so messed up?

Wyatt is also starting out with Tessa an Investigator who becomes involved in the case. In trying to solve it their relationship will be tested because of the facts.

I loved this book, it kept me trying to guess all the way through, incorrectly I might add!
Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for a copy in return for an honest review.Review

I Let You Go | Clare Mackintosh – ☆☆☆☆☆


A well deserved  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

What an amazing read!

There is a real rollercoaster of emotions in this book that I could not put down, and then kept thinking about all night.

Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published November 6th 2014 by Sphere

edition languageEnglish

Buy it now from: Amazon UK  or Amazon US, and available at many other Book stores.


Synopsis by Goodreads:

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating…


My review:

A five year old killed in an instant: his name was Jacob. It was a hit and run. How could you do that? How does anyone recover from losing a child so needlessly?

I shan’t describe the plot the synopsis is good enough, no spoilers here.

This book is much much more than a simple ‘who done it crime’, so cleverly written in both first and third person that simply messes with your perception.

There are so many facets to this story, the harsh frantic side of police with full on work and failing marriages, along with the destruction of relationships.  Then there is the slow wind-blown side where fractured lives knit very slowly, healing outside of life itself.

Jenna is trying to rebuild her life far away from people as possible, in a remote cottage on the coast in Wales. Hit and run affects a whole community of individuals and Mackintosh conveys that in a way that is subtly huge.

I love it when authors paint pictures enabling me to stand beside a character and feel their lives, exactly like this does:

The sand becomes pockmarked from the rain, and the swollen tide begins to sweep away the shapes I have made in the wet sand at the bottom of the beach, undoing the triumphs as well as the mistakes. It has become routine to begin each day by writing my own name close to the shore, and I shiver to see it sucked into the sea.

AND THEN: POW!  What freakin happened there?   The shock of what I am reading both excites and confuses me.   Never…..     never…..      would I have seen that coming….nor will you I can promise that!

This book then turns your understanding of the story back to front and inside out.

Very, very, cleverly done, thank you Clare Mackintosh for a beautiful and brilliant read!   :)


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Suffer | E.E. Borton – ☆☆☆☆☆


Why 5 stars?

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I loved this book.  Be warned though it is brutal and graphic…just what I love to read ;)

A friend recommended this book to me and from her review I knew I had to read it. (Thanks Maxine) OMG this is going to be going round in my head for a while I can tell you. What a great and interesting mind Borton has to give us this novel.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1377 KB
Print Length: 346 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (9 Dec. 2014)
Language: English


Kate Freeman opened the front door of her vacation villa to see a Florida State Trooper standing on the porch. A few moments later, 50,000 paralyzing volts shot through her body. Her world went dark after her head impacted the tile floor.

She woke unable to move. Sitting only a few feet away bound to a chair, her six-year-old son sat quietly staring at her. It was just the beginning of their hellish nightmare.

150 miles away, Kate’s husband Paul was on his annual scuba trip in the Bahamas. Early the next morning, he pulled away from the dock and headed back to the villa on Sugar Loaf Key to be reunited with his family. He would be the first to find them – exactly as the killer planned.

“Suffer” is a crime thriller that shows what ordinary people are capable of doing when faced with unimaginable evil. Decisions have to be made that take them deeper into the darkness of a sociopath’s world. It’s a place they have to travel in order to hunt him down and make the punishment fit the crime.

Few expected her to survive. Nobody expected her to fight.


My review:

This plot was focussed and did not spend too much time on superficial chatter that could distract from the plot.

Borton did not spare the brutality of the scenes, describing the worst torture anyone can imagine ever. The brutal rape and torture of a young woman and her son is so shocking it cannot even be imagined. What kind of animal could do this to another human being? Her husband and friends finds them and there is only one thing that can be done. Without knowing that his wife is recovering against all odds, Paul commits suicide and Grey their friend vows to find who was responsible. Along with a few others, revenge is well planned and very sweet.

What did I like best?

I loved that this is a fast paced, exciting story, one which both filled me with horror and morbid desire to read how revenge would be described. There is a kind of air-punching satisfaction of knowing that someone suffers the same horrors as they inflicted. Should you be worried about me? Nah, I think that many who read this book will be just as eager to have torture metered out and described in such a visual manner. Why? Well you will just have to read it and find out won’t you!

This is a book that is well written and excellently put together, not once did I get lost in the plot or the characters. Talking of characters, I loved the strength of the vulnerable Kate, the victim. I loved how Borton gives her real character that both scares and amazes those around her. It made me think about whether in the same situation would I be able to be strong enough or sick enough to exact revenge as she did? Indeed it begs the question whether it is right or wrong – okay of course it was wrong but would I tell on her – no way, my mouth stays shut.

Those men around Kate and who love her for surviving, are wonderfully strong characters, no messing about – get the job done types. Who risk their lives for her.

Anything that would have been the icing on the cake for me?

Oh yes, without giving away the plot I would have like descriptions of one mans fear and emotions……. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you read it. (Alright that is probably a bit too creepy of me.)

I now need a follow up, because hey Mr Borton you can’t just end it there for me!!


Source:  Bought from Amazon UK

Convergence | Michael Patrick Hicks – ☆☆☆☆☆

20945315Boy, this was a good book to read!

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 518 KB
Print Length: 395 pages
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. & other online stores
Language: English


An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist

Jonah Everitt is a killer, a DRMR addict, and a memory thief.
After being hired to kill a ranking officer of the Pacific Rim Coalition and download his memories, Everitt finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a terror cell, a rogue military squadron, and a Chinese gangster named Alice Xie. Xie is a profiteer of street drugs, primarily DRMR, a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead. With his daughter, Mesa, missing in post-war Los Angeles, Everitt is forced into an uneasy alliance with Alice to find her.

Mesa’s abduction is wrapped up in the secrets of a brutal murder during the war’s early days, a murder that Alice Xie wants revenged. In order to find her, Jonah will have to sift through the memories of dead men that could destroy what little he has left.
In a city where peace is tenuous and loyalties are ever shifting, the past and the present are about to converge.


Why I liked this book:

There was a brilliant contrast between the a ruined landscape and nano-technology and beyond.

“A series of carpet bombings had wiped out much of the skyline. What remained of downtown were ruined shells; once-tall skyscrapers stood like jagged broken teeth in a bloodied jaw.” 

What a descriptive picture it gives me in my head of a place desolate, ravaged by war.

For me it was such an exciting and easy read, Hicks brought this dystopian world alive without compromising the characters.  As the story unfolds reading about the technology feels really ‘comfortable’ as if it is commonplace already.

I loved the characters, they were honest in their portrayal, strong and intriguing, but showing emotions and vulnerability, especially Jonah.

Full of nano technology and brutal descriptions of war and desolation, I was stunned by this contrasting observation:

“My fingernails worried at a small knot of fabric on the thigh of my pants, picking at the tiny, raised imperfection in the otherwise-smooth plane of cotton . I dug at it, trying to work the knot out of keep myself from going crazy with worry.”

The technology doesn’t seem so outlandish when it is so seamlessly woven into the background of the story.

This is an author I really enjoy, I love the way Hicks puts together his novels, his style of writing and his really imaginative plots that work so well.

I absolutely recommend this book to you all

Source: Bought from Amazon UK.

Review: The Boy In The River || Richard Hoskins


A disturbing read – 4 Stars   Well worth a read!

Paperback, 334 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Pan Books
ISBN 1447207904 (ISBN13: 9781447207900)
literary awardsCWA Non-Fiction Dagger Nominee for Highly Commended (2013)


On 21st September 2001 the mutilated torso of a small child was found floating beside London’s Tower Bridge, one tide away from being swept into the North Sea. Unable to identify the victim, the Murder Squad turned to Richard Hoskins, a young professor of theology with a profound understanding of African tribal religion, whose own past was scarred by a heartbreaking tragedy. Thus began a journey into the tangled undergrowth of one of the most notorious murder cases of recent years; a journey which would reveal not only the identity of the boy they called Adam but the horrific truth that a succession of innocent children have been ritually sacrificed in our capital city.Insightful and grippingly written, The Boy in the River is an inside account of a series of extraordinary criminal investigations and a compelling personal quest into the dark heart of humanity.


This is a biographical account of Richard Hoskins who helped with the investigations into child murders by those who believed they had kindoki (evil spirits).

Excellently written in the form of a novel rather than pure facts, it is a personal journey as well as an account. An important issue to read about and understand, this is a truly disturbing book to read.

As a Christian and having lived in a village helping in the medical centre in the Congo with his first wife Richard, grew to love the people and country.

Through his expertise in African tribal ritual and religion, he enters the darkest of worlds helping the police in their investigations into child abuse and murder in London linked to beliefs in certain African communities. The investigations leads to child trafficking, and sex exploitation.

He paints a wonderful picture of his early days in the Congo, and of his respect for the people around him. His account of his life in the village is very fascinating and readable, I learnt a lot from his writing.

Through helping the police on several cases of what many thought were ‘witchcraft’ beliefs, he helps the justice system understand the differences in tribal customs and pure child abuse.

There is a disturbing trend that has grown from migrants from parts of Africa to merge Christianity with African religion into a hybrid that is plain wrong. It damages the various peoples of Africa who do not practice ‘deliverance’ rituals, and to the many Africans who do not follow these extreme churches.

Richard Hoskins pulls no punches when he describes how insidious these practices are, and how it affected him and his family when he was researching them. The cases he describes are well known Victoria Climbie and Child B, and his first case that of ‘Adam’ the torso of a six year old found in the Thames. He is honest in the effect on people and society and writes this book as a warning not to overlook the effect on our own communities.

I enjoyed reading this book but was understandably troubled by what he was recounting.