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BOOK REVIEW: The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer

There's no safety in numbers...
Eve Singer needs death.With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she'll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.
The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.
When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be the first with the news from every gory scene until she realises that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other is her...

Publisher: Bantam Press

Belinda Bauer brings something extra to the crime genre and her latest book The Beautiful Dead shows off her talent in all its glory.
Eve Singer is our female protagonist; she is a hard hitting crime reporter but with new talent snapping at her heels, she knows her job hangs in the balance. When a murderer contacts her and gives her the details of his next crime so she can be there live, she jumps at the chance as it is the exclusive she needs. However, knowing that the killer may not have carried out such an act if she had not gone along makes Eve feel incredibly guilty; she has almost become part of the crime. But it is too late now, she has made that fateful connection and it soon becomes clear that the killer is not going to lose interest in Eve anytime soon.
The Beautiful Dead is a very clever and well-thought out book, it was a bit more action packed than her previous books yet it still gives you a lot to think about. Bauer delves quit
e deep into her character's emotions; especially Eve and the murderer which makes for interesting and often uncomfortable reading. It is this aspect of the book that sets Belinda Bauer apart from other writers in this genre. It feels like she really lays her characters bare which in turn almost makes them seem quite vulnerable.
Eve is an excellent creation, she has so much going on in her life before she makes contact with the killer, you begin to wonder just how much more she can take as she becomes tangled up in his web.
I would highly recommend this book and Belinda Bauer's others too. She avoids the cliches that often come with books in this field and instead provides you with an original and thought-provoking story.

Many thanks to Dead Good Books for sending me a copy! 


BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Field by Simon Kernick

I have to apologise for missing my stop on the blog tour on Monday, I have no idea how I forgot so the publisher's have kindly said that I can post it today! I really enjoyed this book, here's my review:

When the bones of a 21-year-old Kitty Sinn are discovered after her disappearance in Thailand in 1990, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist. Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, comes forward with his lawyer to confess to DI Ray Mason, of the Met's Homicide Command, that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.
So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost. 

Publisher: Century

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick is fantastic. I have never read anything by this author but I am now working my way through his back catalogue and eagerly awaiting the next book in this new series. 
DI Ray Mason is investigating the case of Kitty Sinn, she disappeared, aged 21 in Thailand in 1996, but her remains have just been dug up in the grounds of a private English boarding school. DI Mason starts investigating the only lead her has but this soon ends in terror and bloodshed. Mason quickly realises that Kitty Sinn's murder is part of a much bigger and completely terrifying picture. Mason and his colleagues link Kitty's murder to a notorious and seemingly untouchable crime gang. As soon as Mason makes the link, he knows he is in danger but how do you stop a gang of people who have links in high places and no intention of stopping their evil campaign?
Simon Kernick's writing style is brilliant and so enjoyable. I instantly liked Ray Mason and it will be good to learn more about him as the series progresses. He is driven entirely by his principles and the desire to help people who are in trouble. Once he has made a promise, he keeps it, despite they problems that may cause him. 
The pace of the book is thrilling, I loved trying to piece it all together but the author was one step ahead the whole way. 
The Bone Field by Simon Kernick is dark, thrilling and totally addictive, do not miss it. 

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book! 


BOOK REVIEW: The Secret by Katerina Diamond

Bridget Reid has a secret, one that could get her killed if she can escape the man who is keeping her locked in a basement bedroom.
D.S. Imogen Grey is good at keeping secrets, truths she'd never reveal to her colleagues at Exeter Police. She worked hard to get to where she is, she nearly died for it. Now her past is catching up with her.
As D.S. Grey and her partner D.S. Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder. And they realise that some secrets are better left buried.

Publisher: Avon
Pages: 416

This is the second book in the D.S. Imogen Grey series I haven't actually read the first book, The Teacher so don't worry if you haven't either.
The book packs a punch right from the start. Bridget Reid is on the run, she is hurt and scared but manages to make it to the secret meeting place she had agreed on with her boyfriend. However, when she wakes up she is locked in a basement bedroom by a man who is convinced she belongs to him.
D.S. Imogen Grey is now in Exeter and working alongside a new partner, D.S. Adrian Miles. They are called to a murder scene with three victims and it is clear from the bodies that they are dealing with a deranged killer who is more than happy for his victims to suffer. They begin their investigation and Imogen is shocked and unsettled to discover that this new case has links to her past. A past her colleagues know nothing about and one she did not want to share.
Katerina Diamond's writing is brilliant, I felt like I was holding my breath at certain points and she does not shy away from any gritty details. Her descriptions create very
powerful, vivid images in the reader's mind.
The chapter's told from the killer's perspective are the most chilling but also intriguing. You get a real sense of how he went from a young boy, to a twisted, dangerous murderer. It raises the question of whether people are born with evil inside them or does it develop due to the experiences they have?
The Secret is an excellent thriller, it's full of brilliantly crafted plot twists and complex but believable characters; I highly recommend this one.

Many thanks to Avon for sending me a copy of this book to review. 


BOOK REVIEW: Bridget Jones's Baby by Helen Fielding

8.45pm Realise there have been so many times in my life when have fantasised about going to a scan with Mark and Daniel, just not with both at the same time.
Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget, with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated, however, by a crucial but terribly awkward question- who is the father? ,Mark Darcy: honourable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notable fuckwit?
9:45pm It's like they're two halves of the perfect man, who'll spend the rest of their lives each wanting to outdo the other one. And now it's all enacting itself in my stomach.
In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss and social, professional. culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones- global phenomenon and the world's favourite singleton- is back with a bump.

Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 216

I actually saw the film before I read the book and I can report that both are fantastic. They are slightly different too, in the film Daniel Cleaver is not one of the possible fathers so it was particularly lovely to have him back in the book, arguing again with
Mark Darcey.
Bridget is older but not necessarily wiser in this book. She has sex with both Mark and Daniel using dolphin-friendly eco condoms so now she's expecting a baby but does not know who the father is. She ends up telling them both in the hope that one of them will stand up to the plate but as usual Bridget is left in a bit of a mess as things don't go to plan.
Funny, poignant and hugely enjoyable, Bridget Jones's Baby is a fantastic book from Helen Fielding, she certainly hasn't lost her touch.


BOOK REVIEW: A Christmas Day at the Office by Matt Dunn

One Christmas party. Two merging companies. Free-flowing champagne. What could possibly go wrong?
With her new billionaire boss in town, Sophie is determined to swap the No-Jobs she meets on Tinder for her very own Steve Jobs. But will looking like a million dollars be enough to kick start a Fifty Shades adventure?
A ring in his pocket and dressed to kill, Callum's planning to get down on one knee, though if Mia doesn't say yes, he's not sure he;ll ever get back up.
Julie's got a surprise for Mark- though it's something she's not even sure she wants. Meanwhile Mark's got another choice to make: the love of his life or the opportunity of a lifetime?
With his job on the line, and the ex who broke his heart back on the scene, Nathan's day is becoming a nightmare. But he's about to meet the woman of his dreams.
This year's office party should be a night to remember- but for five of Seek Software's employees, it might be one they'd sooner forget. 

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 364

A Christmas Day at the Office is a great festive read from Matt Dunn. Being self-employed means that I don't get a Christmas party, but thanks to Matt, this year I have been able to enjoy this one.
I have read A Day at the Office so the characters were familiar to me but you could easily read this as a stand alone book so don't worry if you've not read the previous book.
I felt that this book was a little bit life Love Actually; lots of storylines about couples and relationships with a festive back drop. I think Christmas is naturally a very romantic time and people are looking ahead to the future with the new year approaching; a great time period to set this type of book.
As usual, Matt Dunn's writing is witty and the dialogue between his characters is fast-paced and believable. I think my favourite character was Nathan and I was interested to see how things would work out for him.
The whole book takes place in just one day but Matt Dunn manages to pack so much in. The pace is good throughout and he manages to bring the individual story lines together effortlessly.
I usually try to read 2-3 festive books a year and I am so pleased that this has been one of them.


BOOK REVIEW: My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood

Ever woken from a nightmare, convinced it was real?
Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter.
She's the strong one.
The one who escaped their father.
Her sister didn't. Instead, Sally drinks.
But after their mother's death, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on the very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream...
What secret is lurking in her mother's garden?
And can Kate uncover the truth before she loses her mind?

Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 12th January 2017

Wow this book was tense, such a fantastic read! Kate is a high-flying war reporter, she returns from war torn Aleppo when she heard of her mother's death. Returning to the family home, Kate wants to get her mother's affairs in order but her alcoholic sister is no help and nobody will believe her about the young boy she keeps seeing in her mother's garden.
This book took me by surprise, I thought the synopsis sounded great but it is much more than that. Kate is so effected by the atrocities she has seen in Syria; it becomes clear very quickly that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a very clever feature from the author as you are constantly doubting what is real to Kate and what is being caused by her being ill. Can she really see a boy in the garden, are her childhood memories correct, should she be locked up for her own safety?
Nuala Ellwood does not hold back
when describing the horrors that Kate encounters in her job. I thought it was rather brave of her to tackle a subject that is so emotive and so prevalent in the media at the moment. We all have views on Syria but the author is effectively using the situation as a way to explore the devastating effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and she does it brilliantly. Kate cannot just slot back into normal life; sounds and even smells can transport her back to Syria and even she at some points realises that she is out of control- she knows her behaviour is erratic but she can't stop.
My Sister's Bones is a fantastic read, I think it's one of the best thrillers I have read this year and I think it will receive a lot of attention when it is published in January.


BOOK REVIEW: The Family Man by TJ Lebbon

You take one risk.
Now those you love must pay...
Emma Turner thought she could trust her husband, Dom. She thought that he would always look after and and her daughter Daisy.
Then one reckless act ends in two innocent deaths- and Dom's family becomes the target of a terrifying enemy.
There's nowhere to hide. They're on the run for their lives. And if Dom makes one more wrong move, he won't have a family left to protect.

Publisher: Avon
Pages: 372

T. J. Lebbon has written over 30 novels but he is a new author to me and I was very impressed. 
I found the dialogue in the first few chapters a little disjointed but I'm glad that I stuck with it as I was soon completely engrossed in this action-packed, fast paced story.
Dom is a pillar of the community, he runs his own electrical business and is a governor at the local school. Yet he takes a stupid risk with his cycling mate Andy that puts his life and those of his wife and Daughter Daisy at risk. All of a sudden Dom is having to run in order to survive; the people chasing him and his family are dangerous and twisted. They have a reputation for enjoying causing suffering and pain and now they have Dom and his family on their list. 
The Family Man is so well done; once I had got on board with the huge risk that Dom takes, I enjoyed the story and could not put the book down. 
There are some very graphic descriptions of extreme violence so probably not the best book if you are a little squeamish. T. J. Lebbon sets out to shock and succeeds on more than one occasion in order to fully show the danger that Dom is in. 
The pace of the book is relentless; the last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat as Dom becomes closer and closer to losing everything. It was interesting to see the shift in Dom's behaviour once his family are threatened. His life is quite dull at the beginning of the book but that soon changes and I think he shocks himself by what he will do in order to protect Emma and Daisy.
The Family Man is fast-paced, gritty and hard-hitting, I would highly recommend it. Let me know if you have read any of this author's other books as I would love to try more. 

Many thanks to Avon for sending me a copy of this book to review. 


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