Category Archives: book review

Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver – a review BLOG TOUR

A while ago I read Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver and it was one of those books that stayed with me for a long time after I read it. Therefore I was really pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel Psychopaths Anonymous.

Maeve is an independent powerful woman with a great career and an interesting social life. She is also an alcoholic with a penchant for killing men. When she realises that attending AA meetings just makes her want to drink even more she decides to set up her own meeting that will be a better fit. So begins her support group, Friends of Maeve or Psychopaths Anonymous. Unfortunately being a psychopathic killer isn’t always conducive to being in a relationship so when Maeve starts to fall in love things begin getting tricky.

This was an absolutely fantastic read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The novel is equal parts dark humour, gory murders and interesting tale of relationships. Whilst the main character is a serial killer the depth of story makes it much more than that. She wants to make amends to people she has hurt but doesn’t necessarily go about it in the best way (Think Rhiannon of Sweetpea fame meets My Name is Earl.)

I think that Will Carver is a really excellent writer, his novels always feel fresh and unique. The characters and the stories within are those that make you think and question your own reactions to the characters. I love a good female serial killer and this was one of my favourites. It’s unusual to find a book where the main character is equally likeable and unlikeable in equal measure but that’s what I found with Maeve. She’s a blood thirsty killer on the one hand, but on the other she has a compelling humour about her that really drew me in.

I can honestly say that this was one of the best novels I have read this year and would absolutely recommend it. Of course don’t just take my word for it, check out what the other bloggers on the tour thought too.

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Girl A by Abigail Dean – a review

Girl A is the debut novel by Abigail Dean. It was a book I had seen all over social media so when browsing the lovely Fox Lane books recently I purchased a copy.

Girl A tells the story of Lex who is Girl A and is one of the survivors of a horrific family abuse scandal. Lex has moved away to New York and has a successful career as a lawyer having put her past behind her. However, when her mother dies she has to return to the UK and it seems the past is something that can’t be escaped.

I thought this was an astonishing debut story. It flits between present day Lex who is trying to deal with her mother’s estate as well as her elder brothers upcoming wedding, and a young Lex living at home with her brothers and sisters as their father slowly descends into madness.

This genuinely was a novel that I couldn’t put down (luckily I was on holiday when I read it) The skill of the writing meant that every time I thought I had a handle on what was happening something threw me off kilter. The story was excellent and the backwards and forwards timeline was handled really well. The character of Lex was an interesting one and even now I can’t decide if I like her or not, clearly she had survived a horrendous childhood but some of her actions made her hard to like.

This was a story that was heartbreaking at times, yet within the darkness there were also moments of humour that lifted the story. To me the quality of the writing was superb, all the characters were well rounded and believable.  The twist at the end was both upsetting but somehow fitting as the story concluded.

I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone and it’s one that will stick with me for a long time to come.

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The Plot by Jan Hanff Korelitz – a review

I have to confess to not having heard of this author before, however I had watched the Undoing on TV and really enjoyed that so when I was offered a copy of this by the publisher I thought I’d give it a go, and I’m very glad I did.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz begins with Jake, an author who having achieved success with his first novel has turned to teaching whilst he struggles with producing another best seller. One of his student’s Evan says he has a great idea for a novel with a story that can’t fail. A couple of years later, Jake has lost his teaching job and is still no further forward with producing a hit book. When he spots an article saying his former student has died he is reminded of the plot of Evan’s novel. Desperate to prove he can still write a bestseller he takes the plot and becomes a success. Unfortunately someone out there knows that it wasn’t his story to tell.

I absolutely loved this novel. From the very start I was sucked into Jake’s world. Although he was pretty unlikeable really, there was something about him that made me both feel sad for him and furious with him at the same time.

It wasn’t a high octane story and was quite different to my usual reads but I found it utterly compelling. The story was good, the idea of whether you can actually own an idea is an interesting one that was explored well here. Even though I had an idea about one of the main twists way before it happened that didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all. The novel also gives us the story that Evan was going to write, and unusually for me I found that story just as enticing as the main one. Normally I find myself skipping these secondary plots to stick with the main one but not here.

The writing style felt quite novel to me, my usual reads tend to be short sharp sentences driving the plot forward, whereas this felt much slower with long sentences and descriptions giving it a really immersive feel that kept me hooked from the start.

I would highly recommend this book and will be looking out for other novels by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell – a review

I am a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell so I was very excited to be accepted to get a proof copy of her latest Kay Scarpetta novel, Autopsy.

Autopsy picks up the story a few years after ‘Chaos’ in a world changed by a global pandemic. Kay and husband Benton have returned to Virginia to take over the medical examiners office. Following alongside are trusty sidekick Marino who is currently married to Kay’s sister, and her niece Lucy who is struggling to cope with the loss of her wife and child. When Kay arrives in Virginia she is thrown into the deep end when a murder victim turns up on the train tracks, and all the clues lead back to Marino’s community. Alongside this investigation, Kay has to contend with a top secret visit to the White House to investigate a crime in outer space.

I love a Kay Scarpetta novel and this was no exception. I must admit that some of the past novels in the series have been getting a bit technical for me, with too many long descriptions of weapons and cyber stuff, but this felt like a real return to form. It had all the hallmarks of a classic Patricia Cornwell with great characters, helicopters, lots of guns and a gripping story full of red herrings and corrupt officials.

This is one of the few series of books that I have read from the start more than once and it felt like a return to an old friend. I love the main characters, especially the interactions between Kay and Marino and it was good to see them working together again. The storylines were good. The space station crime has some fascinating insights into life within a shuttle, alongside a tricky case a bit closer to home. If I have one slight issue it’s that the ending felt a little rushed. Reading on a kindle meant I wasn’t aware of how close to the end I was, so it all came as a surprise how quickly everything finished. However that was only a very small complaint. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and it was a welcome return to what Scarpetta does best – solving murders.

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