The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

This book will be released in the UK on May 16 2019

Jeffery Deaver is an American author. He has written a lot of books, including three which have been made into films.

The Never Game book coverThe Never Game is the first book in a new series, and follows Colter Shaw as he gets embroiled in a game he didn’t expect.

Colter Shaw finds people. He’s not a cop or a bounty hunter, but he earns money by looking for people who are missing and there is a reward to find them. He’s good at what he does.

Shaw had a different upbringing. Brought up on ‘the compound’ he was home schooled and alongside that was taught hunting and survivor training.

As soon as you start reading this you’re pulled into the action. Shaw is desperately trying to rescue a woman in a sinking boat. Then we go back to the beginning and you find out how he got there.

I found the story engrossing from the start. I wanted to know more about Shaw, I wanted to understand what was happening. Deaver is very good, he regularly drip feeds you information and answers, but leaves enough out to keep you wanting to read more.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’m pleased that I got a chance to read the first in a new series before there are too many books to catch up with. I will definitely be reading the next book, there is so much about Shaw I want to know and a very important unanswered question from his childhood.

If you like crime and mystery then I strongly recommend that you read this book!

Thank you to LoveReading and HarperCollins for sending me the book to review.

Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

This book will be released on 18 April 2019.

Roberts is a British author who has released four books in the Cosy series (The Cosy Teashop in the Castle, The Cosy Christmas Teashop, The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop, and The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop) and also two other standalone books (not including this one).

Image of book Rachel’s Pudding PantryRachel’s Pudding Pantry is about a young woman called Rachel in her mid twenties who is running her families farm after the death of her father a couple of years previous. Overall she is doing well however there are some struggles that she has to work with her mum and other family and friends to help resolve, all whilst raising her five year old daughter.

This is very much a chick lit book and has a romance brewing throughout. It’s very easy reading and not at all heavy like the recent books I have been reading. However I don’t think that this genre is given as much credit as it deserves. For this book to be considered ‘easy reading’ it has to be well written, which it is. The story flows, at a calm, but not too slow, pace. The characters are well written and I really liked the main character of Rachel and cared about what happened to her. This was such a pleasure to read after the recent, very involved (and good) books that I’ve been reading.

I’m not a farmer, but the descriptions of farming life seemed to be well researched, believable and were clearly described in an engaging way. Also the depiction of Northumberland was beautiful and if the opportunity ever arises for me to go there I will be eager to seize it.

I thought that the way Roberts dealt with grief was impressive, I appreciated that it hadn’t been rushed and it was shown that it is something that can still be raw and difficult years later.

If you’re looking for a nice, pleasant read that leaves you feeling hopeful and positive, as well as emotionally moved in parts, then I recommend this book.

Also there were a couple of recipes at the end that I’m looking forward to trying.

Thank you to LoveReading and Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book to honestly review.

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine

The Ghost Tree is the most recent book by Image of bookBritish author Barbara Erskine. Ruth returns home to Scotland to visit her sick father who dies shortly after. When sorting out his possessions she comes across old items belonging to her late mother and starts to unravel a mysterious family history.

Given that this book was about family history, British history and had a bit of the paranormal thrown in it was ideal for me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, getting through it in just two days and hardly putting it down. I found all of the characters to be really well written, even the ‘baddies’ had some depth to them and weren’t two dimensional like they so often are in books.

This is a book about Ruth and her ancestor Thomas, and it swapped between the two almost seamlessly. I found I was completely engrossed in the book, always wanting to know what was going to happen next, and not appreciating having my attention pulled away from it.

I liked the fact that the paranormal side of it wasn’t easily accepted, Ruth is reluctant to believe in it and uses logic and reason to argue against it being true. For me this made the character of Ruth easier to relate to and made it less of a science fiction book and more historical fiction.

I was worried that the ‘present day’ storyline would take away from the historical one, however I feel that it managed to balance the two very well. I also enjoyed the authors note at the end, untangling the fact from fiction as Thomas was indeed a real person, and the author is in fact distantly related to him.

I have never read any books by Erskine before but if they are all as well written as this I will have to change that. Are you familiar with Barbara Erskine? Are there any of her books you would recommend?

Read other reviews of the book at the blogs listed in the image below that will be published on the dates listed.

Thank you to Love Reading and Harper Collins for my copy of the book to read and review.

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

Roar by Cecelia Ahern is a book of 30 short stories about modern day life as a woman.

Cecelia Ahern is an Irish novelist who is known for books such as ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘If You Could See Me Now’.

I didn’t really know what to expect with this book, I have to admit I’ve never read any books by Cecelia Ahern before (I try to avoid books that are going to make me cry) so it was with some trepidation (I really didn’t want to cry) that I read this book.  It’s also been a while since I’ve read short stories, having had a long phase of just novel reading lately so this was a real change of pace for me.

I expected it to take me some time to get into the book, to find short stories unfulfilling.  I assumed that with the stories being short I wouldn’t be able to connect to the characters and so wouldn’t care about them.  I was completely wrong.  As soon as I started reading I was enraptured.  The stories, no matter how long or short were completely engaging and I wanted to keep reading and find out the outcome of each story, and the next story, and the next.  It was rather clever of Cecelia Ahern to not give a name to the main character in each chapter – it made it that much easier to relate and put myself in the characters situation.

I found this book to be incredible.  Each story had its own metaphor and there was a moral or lesson at the end of each chapter.  I found it so easy to read, quite often picking it up to read just one story and finding myself reading three or four.  I found every single story relatable, even the ones that on the face of it I would expect to have nothing in that was relevant to me.  Some obviously touched home more than others, but each left me feeling more empowered and self-aware in their own way.

I was surprised, and pleased, to find that Cecelia Ahern has published other books of short stories and they will definitely be added to my ‘to read’ list.

It is such a lovely, positive and uplifting book.  I strongly recommend reading it, especially if you are a woman who… well, if you are a woman.

Thank you to LoveReading and Harper Collins for my review copy.

The book is released on 1 November 2018 (Hardcopy and Kindle) and then 2 May 2019 (Paperback).

How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry

Book is due to be published: 16 June 2016

Emilia Nightingale’s life has been turned upside down.  She is trying to deal with grief whilst also keeping a struggling business running.  Unsure of what she wants in life Emilia is leaning on those around her whilst she makes it through each day, until in the end she can decide what it is she wants and how she is going to get it.  Read as she comes up against problems, finds out secrets, makes new friends and discovers what, and who, she loves.  At the same time follow the lives of those around her, as they deal with lifes ups and downs.

Veronica Henry is a British script-writer and author of Romance fiction.  In the past she has worked on the The Archers and for various TV shows, and also written for Heartbeat and Holby City.  This is her 16th book and her last book, High Tide, was a Top 10 bestseller.

HowToFindLoveInABookShopHow to Find Love in a Book Shop is focussed on Emilia Nightingale who is dealing with working through grief and keeping a business running.  You follow her story as she finds her way through her struggles, and also follow the stories of various other characters linked to the bookshop.  The bookshop is in a small but active village and seems to be an important part of residents lives.  One particular quote that stood out to me was “… a town without a bookshop was a town without a heart” and you really do get the impression that this bookshop and owner, are at the heart of this small town/village.

I absolutely loved reading this book, in fact I read it in just two sittings as I couldn’t put it down.  There is some sadness woven through it, but not so much that the book is depressing.  In fact, Henry manages to get the balance of sadness/hope/happiness just right.  All the characters are so likeable, well with the exception of one, and you do find yourself really rooting for things to work out for them.  Two of my favourite characters in the book (other than Emilia) were Thomasina and Dillon, I loved following their stories and seeing how things unfolded.  You see the struggles that are happening in the lives of all the characters, and you can’t help but care and hope that they manage to find their way.  The characters are also really easy to relate to, when you read the book they feel like real people.  I really enjoyed following the journey of Emilia, at the beginning she’s trying so hard to ‘find herself’ and work out what it is she wants, and at the end you feel as though she’s made that discovery and understands and knows herself so much better.

Henry also dotted short lists of books throughout, where each list was linked to a different character in the book.  This was a really lovely touch and I enjoyed reading all of the lists.  They all felt like recommendations and it has definitely helped me expand on my list of future reads!

This is very much a book for someone who likes to read Romances but doesn’t want too much drama.  Just a storyline that flows at a good pace and branches out as it goes.  I found it so easy to follow, even though it flitted between characters, it was extremely well structured.  I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends and I would be surprised if this is not another Top 10 bestseller like Henry’s last book.

(Thank you to Orion Books and LoveReading for my pre-released copy of the book.)

The Jackdaw by Luke Delaney

Book is due to be published: 12 March 2015

DI Sean Corrigan and the Special Investigations Unit are on the hunt for a dangerous man. The Jackdaw has decided to punish the rich bankers for their part in the financial crisis, and one by one is taking them from the streets and then streaming their ‘trial’ on the Internet. As The Jackdaw describes their crimes, viewers can vote – guilty or not guilty – before he makes the final judgment and carries out the sentence.

Corrigan and his team have to work quickly to solve this case. Who is The Jackdaw? Where is he hiding? Who will his next victim be?

TheJackdawThis is the fourth book in the DI Sean Corrigan series by Luke Delaney. It is the first book from the series that I have read, however that did not cause any issues for me with relating to the characters or following background storylines. Delaney himself worked for the Metropolitan Police, and in CID, which I think adds an authenticity to his writing. The understanding of procedure, the internal politics, even just the conversations had by the characters – it all makes for a novel that completely draws you in. Delaney mentions various recent issues (as well as the obvious controversy with banks) that the police have had a significant role in, such as the phone hacking scandal and the high-profile celebrity paedophile investigations. By doing this he pulls you further into the story, making it seem like something that – worryingly – is actually feasible.

Although you get an insight into what The Jackdaw is doing and thinking, you’re never aware of what his plan is or who he is. You’re still completely enthralled, reading on, wanting to find out what is going to happen next and who the next victim will be. There are also other ongoing storylines for the main characters, which I am looking forward to find out more about when I go back and read the first three books in the series – which I will definitely do!

Delaney creates a depth to his characters, even the victims. He could have so easily made them your typical rich, greedy, London banker. Instead they all have their own motivation, reasons for what they are doing, thoughts about what they are doing etc. Nothing is overly simple, but nothing is over complicated. Delaney has managed to get a good balance between too much information and not enough. It’s this clever (and time relevant) storyline, multi-faceted characters, and the well-balanced descriptions that have all combined to make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

If you like crime novels and thrillers then I would definitely recommend this book.

(Thank you to Harper Collins and Love Reading for my pre-released copy of the book.)

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Thirteen year old Joe Coutt’s life is thrown in to turmoil when his mother is attacked and raped on their reservation. Devastated by the attack and not wanting to talk to anyone, she simply goes to bed and remains there. His father, a tribal judge, does his best to help her and seek justice, but it seems to be out of his reach. Joe decides to take matters into his own hands and, along with his friends, he sets out to investigate the attack and find out the truth – hoping that life will go back to normal once his goal has been achieved.

This is the first book that I have read by Louise Erdrich, and despite the terrible events that set everything in motion, it is a beautiful book. The descriptions were incredible and the storyline was engaging, resulting me in truly caring about the characters. Whilst reading I laughed, empathised, was shocked, and heartbroken.

TheRoundHouse

Erdrich has taken a devastating subject and written about it in an incredibly thought-provoking way.   Strangely enough, although it was based on a terrible ordeal, with more bad things to come, the book wasn’t depressing or negative, in fact I found it quite uplifting in many places.

The back story of the characters was fantastic, the explanation of tribal life was detailed and descriptive – but not so much that you got bored.

Simply put, this story was about a family and community, who have their lives turned upside down and struggle to make sense of it all, and was a wonderful read.

(Reviewed 15 March 2013)

(Thanks to Corsair and Love Reading for my pre-released copy of the book.)