Category Archives: crime fiction

Ask Me No Questions by Louisa De Lange – a review

I am continuing to work my way down my TBR pile, and the latest to reach the top was Ask Me No Questions by Louisa De Lange. Firstly I do have one issue, the title. You can imagine how annoying it is trying to read, when someone finds it hilarious to ask every thirty seconds, what are you reading? Ask Me No Questions… You can imagine the reaction.

Anyway, Ask Me No Questions opens with an article about a married couple who were murdered by their neighbour leaving behind their twin girls. As children twins Thea and Gabi were inseparable, however as adults they haven’t spoken in 15 years, until Gabi is viciously attacked and Thea reappears. DS Kate Munro is investigating the attack and believes that it is personal. However in order to find out why it happened she first needs to try and unpick the secrets that both the twins are keeping.

This was an interesting story that started off relatively simple but was soon twisting and turning as we slowly uncovered what happened on the night of the attack. Overall I enjoyed this story. It was an interesting premise, and there were lots of red herrings and plot changes that kept me guessing. I did find myself getting a little confused between the characters at times, as the story flicked back and forward between present day and past but it all came together in the end.

I liked the character of DS Munro. To start with she seemed rather clinical and cold yet I soon found her tenacious attitude quite refreshing. Yes she made some rather stupid decisions and clearly had an alcohol issue, but I actually enjoyed the way the story focused very much on the case in hand rather than there being lots of detective back story that is often the case in detective novels, it made a nice change.

Ask Me No Questions was a good read that I enjoyed and would definitely look out for the next in the series.

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The Good Samaritan by CJ Parson – a review BLOG TOUR

I have a bad habit of downloading books onto my kindle and then completely forgetting what they about, even if I’m on a blog tour. That is exactly what happened with The Good Samaritan by C.J Parsons, so I started reading with no idea of what the story was about but I was soon sucked in.

The Good Samaritan starts with Carrie’s 5 year old daughter Sophia going missing from their local play park. Carrie has a condition meaning that she cannot read facial expressions and finds social situations difficult, so struggles to cope with new people. Days after the abduction Sophia is found by a stranger but there is no sign of the abductor and the police have no clues. Carrie is therefore going to have to try and trust her own instincts to keep herself and her daughter safe.

I thought this was a great read that kept me absolutely engrossed. I found the story quite unusual, a crime has been committed but there seems to be no motive or clue as to the perpetrator and Sophia has been returned unharmed. There seems to be two potential suspects, yet neither of them stand out and as the story progresses I was constantly going backwards and forwards thinking one thing and then changing my mind.

I found the character of Carrie intriguing. Being unable to read emotions from facial expressions was not a condition I had heard of before. You soon realise how difficult it would make situations if you couldn’t tell the difference between a genuine smile or a sarcastic one. I felt real sympathy for Carrie as she tried to navigate her way through situations that to most of us would be relatively simple. Her reliance on others to interpret emotion put her at a real threat of those who might want to take advantage.

This novel really focuses on just six people despite an interesting cast of supplemental characters and I felt that gave it a strange sense of tension, almost like a locked room style mystery. The two detectives on the case Juliet and Alistair were good characters. They gave a different element to the story and complemented the more intense character of Carrie as they bounced off one another.

This was an excellent story that I thoroughly enjoyed, I would definitely read more from CJ Parsons!

Find out what others on the blog tour thought of The Good Samaritan

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Final Cut by SJ Watson – a review BLOG TOUR

I am a big fan of Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson, therefore I was really pleased to get the chance to read his latest novel, Final Cut.

Final Cut is set in the fictional town of Blackwood Bay, a formally busy seaside town now struggling to survive in a world of cheap package holidays. Alex is a film maker who grew up in the Bay and is commissioned to make a ‘fly on the wall’ style documentary about the town. She is not keen to revisit the place she grew up in and knows that something bad happened to her, yet she has no memory of the events. When a young girl goes missing the lives of the villagers start to unravel as secrets start to emerge.

I really enjoyed this novel. Final Cut is an interesting premise starting with the idea that everyone nowadays is a filmmaker, as people in the village are being encouraged to film themselves and then upload it to a website.
It was not what I would call fast paced, it is very character led and there is a lot of conversation, but that for me was what made it interesting. It felt a very compelling read with a sense of menace running through.

The writing is excellent and conjours up some vivid pictures of a quaint but run down seaside town. The book follows a ‘now and then’ storyline as we find out what happened to Alex after she left the town, and also the village as it is now. I found both plots to be interesting which is often not the case in dual narratives where I often find myself skipping through one storyline fast to get back to the more interesting one. The story itself is good although it did go a little flat in the middle, but I suspect that was mainly because I was so keen to find out what was going on that I got a bit frustrated with no one talking. I like the unreliable narrator as a hook, and you can’t get much more unreliable than someone who has little memory of her past.

Overall I very much enjoyed Final Cut. To find out what others on the tour thought of it visit the other stops on the blog tour.

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The Minders by John Marrs – BLOG TOUR

As I’ve mentioned many times, I read a lot more than I review. A lot of that is down to the fact that I love to read, and tend to move immediately from one book to another. Then I end up forgetting about the review. Annoyingly that happens even when I love a book. My scatty-ness also often means that I think I’ve reviewed things and it’s only when I go back to check I realise I haven’t done at all.

One such author that has fallen foul of this is John Marrs. I know that I have read a number of his books and that I have loved them all. Therefore when I was asked to join a blog tour for his latest novel, The Minders I jumped at the chance. However it’s not until I look back I realise I haven’t reviewed any of them which is very remiss of me.

I personally think John Marrs is one of the most interesting authors I have come across in a long time. Each of his novels is a standalone with a story that has kept me hooked. I have just finished listening via audible to What Lies Between Us, a super twisty tale of two women living together. His previous The One about finding love through DNA testing will put you off dating for life. I have thoroughly enjoyed them all, in fact looking at John’s back catalogue there are only two I haven’t yet read, The Passengers and his latest The Minders. Well I intend to change that and am very lucky to have recently received a copy of The Minders which I can’t wait to start. This time I promise I’ll remember to review it too!

The Minders by John Marrs

In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads. Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew. But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect…

I look forward to reading this.

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