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Suicide Thursday by Will Carver – a review BLOG TOUR

I am a big fan of Will Carver and so was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel Suicide Thursday. 

In Suicide Thursday Eli has a job he wants to resign from, has a girlfriend he wants to break up with and has a novel he wants to write but can’t get past the first chapter. He also has a big problem in separating fact from fiction in his life. When his best friend kills himself, it motivates Eli to try and finally finish something himself, with the help of his therapist.

Suicide Thursday was another terrific read from an author that never ceases to amaze me. It’s difficult to describe the book as there is so much in it. There often feels to be a lot of elements that just don’t fit but that is part of the writing style that I really enjoy wondering where all the threads will end up, trying and failing to guess where everything is heading.

I love Will Carver’s novels but will admit that they are not always easy reads. It’s not only the fact they deal with big issues, but also the way of writing. The stories are character led and everything is told from the point of view of the characters meaning that every word is important. There are no long descriptions of places and cities, just the thoughts and feelings of the characters which gives a really unique feel to it.

Most of the story is told from the point of view of Eli. He has an inability to finish anything, hence his first chapter library where he stores over 700 first chapters of novels he has written, none of which he’s even written the words Chapter 2 on. Eli was an interesting if unlikeable character. He seems to spend a lot of his life blaming everyone else for his failure to finish anything. Yet there was still part of him that I felt sympathy for, as his life seems to spiral.

There are also interludes from other characters in the story, including girlfriend Jackie who was also friends with Eli’s best friend Mike, we meet the two Ted’s and also Eli’s work colleagues. The change of viewpoint is done rapidly backwards and forwards between Eli and the others which adds to the unnerving and disorientating atmosphere of the book.

Whilst the story is dark, there is an element of comedy running throughout that will in turn make you laugh out loud, and gasp in shock. I absolutely cannot recommend Suicide Thursday highly enough!

Find out what others thought of the book by visiting the other stops on the blog tour.

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Listen To Me by Tess Gerritsen – a review BLOG TOUR

Rizzoli and Isles are back and thanks to Transworld Books I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy.

Listen To Me is the 13th outing for the duo. Detective Jane Rizzoli is investigating the murder of a nurse with the help of Dr Maura Isles. She is also trying to help a young woman who thinks she is being stalked, as well as try and avoid her mother

This was another great instalment of the fantastic series that I throughly enjoyed. As daft as it sounds reading a Rizzoli and Isles always feels like returning to meet some long lost friends. I love the way the two characters interact with each other, as unlikely as they are to be friends it just works. Jane Rizzoli is the fast talking, action hero who runs into danger, wheras Maura Isles is the reserved academic who solves crime via her medical knowledge.

I really enjoyed the bigger part that the character of Jane’s Mother, Angela, played in this novel. Angela has got new neighbours and is convinced that they are up to something bad. However neither her daughter or the local police are interested and she is just dismissed as a busy body. However like mother like daughter so Angela isn’t going to be told to keep her nose out for long. I really like this character and felt she gave a great extra dimension to the police procedural elements of the story.

The writing is as always flawless, and the short chapters made it zip along. My only slight criticism was the lack of any real acknowledgement that Rizzoli is now a mother and her baby was rarely seen. Although saying that, I also like the fact that the story continued to focus on the crime and not purely on the characters personal lives. Yet there is enough of the back stories that you feel invested. Although this is the 13th book in the series I would definitely say it can be read as a standalone.

I absolutely love a Rizzoli and Isles book and Listen to Me was no exception. It was a fast paced read that will keep you entertained throughout.

Find out what others on the blog tour thought:

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The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg – a review

I was sent a copy of this from Faber and Faber Ltd and despite not being my usual style of crime I thought it sounded intriguing.

Teenage Ava is sent to live with her grandmother after the death of her mother. Not only does Ava have to leave her home and everything she knows, she is going to live with a woman she has barely met. Grandmother Lane is an artist who is ill equipped to look after herself let alone a teenage girl. Lane already relies heavily on her assistant Oliver who seems to be the perfect help for them both but tensions soon start to simmer to the surface and Ava become suspicios that maybe Oliver isn’t the person he pretends to be.

This was an utterly compelling story that I really enjoyed. It was part character study and part crime story that weaved its way between past and present as we gradually uncover the story that was behind the estrangement between Lane and her daughter as well as learn more about Lane’s relationship with her partner.

I found all of the characters fascinating in their own way. Ava was a quiet unassuming child who had been put in a situation where she had to grow up quickly. Lane elicted both sympathy and frustration from me. Clearly she was struggling with her own health but won’t admit she’s suffering. Instead she chooses to self medicate and practically ignore her granddaughter and her grief. Oliver is a hard character to pin down, on the one hand it seems that he really cares for Lane, but equally there is a side of him that seems difficult to trust.

The novel is set in New Orleans and I loved the way the setting rumbled in the background giving a sense of history and providing a bit of colour in the otherwise sightly grey world of the book. The writing was impeccable and I felt it flowed seamlessly. The book flitted between present day and the late 90’s where we gradually uncovered more about Lane’s background and what led to the falling out with her daughter.

I very much enjoyed this story and the end was something I didnt see coming. I would highly recommend this intriguing and emotional novel.

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The Long Weekend by Gilly McMillan – a review BLOG TOUR

The Long Weekend is sadly not a description of a nice few days away, instead it’s the focus of the latest  blog tour that I was lucky enough to be invited on to.

The Long Weekend by Gilly McMillan starts with three friends arriving for a weekend away at an isolated farm house in the middle of the Moors. When they arrive they find a note that has been left telling them that one of their husbands is going to be murdered. As a storm hits they are stranded in the farm house with no phone signal and no way of contacting their families to find out what is happening. As the three friends become increasingly desperate to find out what is going on their friendship starts to fracture and the tension boils over.

The Long Weekend was a good story that I read over a weekend. What started off as a seemingly ‘run of the mill’ wild weekend story soon became something more intriguing as the stranded wives start to fear for their husbands and you start to find out about their backgrounds and their relationships.

The characters were not particularly likeable, in fact other than the daughter they are all pretty unpleasant. However I felt that this gave the story a different edge. You weren’t really rooting for any of the main characters, yet still I was compelled to see how it all played out. The story is told from multiple points of view not only the main characters but also a mysterious third voice who is clearly unhinged. There was also a third strand to the story which was that of the farmer and his wife trying to make a living against the odds which was quite moving.

I found this quite a clever twisty story. The numerous unreliable narrators did get a little confusing at the start, but it soon became clear. I have a read a few of the novels by Gilly Macmillan and have always found them to be very enjoyable and this was no exception.

To find out what others thought of The Long Weekend look out for the next stops on the blog tour.

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