Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Death Sentence- Mikkel Birkegaard

I received a copy of this to review for Transworld Book Challenge.  I loved the concept of this book- an author discovers that someone has recreated one of his murders and worries that he will be a suspect.  Soon after another murder is committed again based on one of his novels.  As both of the victims are people he knows he worries what will happen next and begins to investigate himself.  He is a well known author with a reputation of writing particularly horrific, violent murder stories and as a result of this the book is, at times, fairly gruesome.  The story is interspersed with chapters charting Frank's early life, studenthood and marriage

I found this a gripping read but some of it didn't hold together, particularly with regard to the lack of the police investigation and I found the ending slightly frustrating.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Nothing but trouble- Rachel Gibson

I received this to review for Transworld Book Challenge.  For me it was a very predictable novel filled with one dimensional character who could have been developed much better.  Mark Bressler was the Chinooks captain before having a serious accident stopping him playing hockey.  Chelsea Ross has been hired to care for Mark.  He doesn't want her there and sets out to get her to quit whilst she is doing all she can to stay as she wants the $10,000 reward for lasting.  I found it difficult to believe that Mark needed a carer and apart from a bit of rudeness there wasn't anything particularly to get rid of Chelsea. 

Despite these criticisms to read it purely as fluffy, escapism it was an ok read.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The colour of death- Michael Cordy

I am part of the transworld book group and have been given a copy to review.

This was an outstanding book.  Its the first book I have read by Michael Cordy and I hope it is to be the start of a new series.  Dr Nathan Fox is a psychiatrist with his own share of emotional baggage as he still doesn't understand why he was the only person not killed in a petrol station hold up.  He is assigned to treat a woman known only as Jane Doe as she has complete amnesia of anything which happened prior to her rescuing dozens of Russian women held captive.

The book tackles a complex medical condition "synaethesia" and interweaves it very well into the storyline.  Early on in the book I was reading it slowly, trying to savour it as much as possible but as the story progressed I was desperate to find out how it was going to end.  All in all very highly recommended!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

It's not about me- Max Lucado

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

This book pretty much seeks to unpack the title and explore the fact that the world does not revolve around me. I am not the be all and end all of the world and nor should I seek to put myself in that position. It does this by, in part 1, dipping in and out of the Bible showing the character of God culminating in reminding us what He has done for us before posing the question how is this not about me? Part 2 seeks to answer this question and uses a series of analogies to do so.

This book is written in typical Lucado style, full of thoughtful insights, analogies and drawing on personal experiences. It includes a really powerful, well written chapter on legalism as well as touching on real life issues such as sex, struggling and suffering.

This is a well written, biblically sound but easy to read book.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The midwife's confession-Diane Chamberlain

This book focusses on secrets.  The main character, Noelle commits suicide in the first chapter so it is strange to view her as the main character but she is central to most of the other storylines.  Her good friends Tara and Emerson can't understand why she has committed suicide so they begin to delve deeper into her past and discover secret siblings, surrogacy and baby swapping. 

Tara is also trying to come to terms with her husband's death and both she and Emerson have teenage daughters who both cause problems for their parents as well as trying to deal with their own issues.

Chamberlain's great strength in this book is the well roundedness of all the characters.  They feel like real people and I found myself drawn to all of them at different times.

We also are introduced later on to Anna who is dealing with an ill daughter and a returning husband.  This book is written alternately by Tara, Emerson, Grace and Anna as well as third person narrative of Noelle. 

All in all a very good read

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Secrets she left behind-Diane Chamberlain

Her writing is likened to Jodi Picoult and I can see why. This book follows the characters introduced in Before the Storm. I hadn't read Before the Storm before reading this one and don't think it mattered once I had worked out the characters. I'm not sure whether it will affect my reading of Before the Storm as I know who started the fire and why and the effects on other people etc.

This story is written from 4 main viewpoints- Maggie who is being let out of prison, Andy-her brother, Keith who she has just learned is her half brother and was badly scarred in the fire and Sara, Keith's mum. The latter's chapters are written as a journal rather than narrative and cover the time from Maggie being born to present.

The story encompasses Sara's disappearance, Maggie's return home from prison and attempts to be accepted by society, as well as issues of complex family relationships, fetal alcohol syndrome, guilt and surviving and is a gripping read

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Gallow's Bird by Camilla Lackberg

Another great novel by Camilla Lackberg, who manages to interweave Patrik's personal life with the cases he is investigating without overdoing one or the other!  In this book Patrik and Erica are preparing for their wedding whilst also dealing with Anna living with them.  Meanwhile, Patrik is called to a car fatality which soon reveals itself as more than the tragic accident it first appeared to be.  We learn more about Melberg and his love life which never runs smoothly.  This book also shows a better side to Gosta, who until this book has been portrayed as a work-shy officer and we are introduced to Hanna, a new inspector to the team

There is also a reality tv show being filmed in the town.  I think my biggest criticism of the book is that I don't think the characters of the contestants are developed very well.  Other than that an excellent novel and I eagerly await the next one!