Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Going Under: A Bill Roberts Thriller by Silas Payton

I do like a good thriller and this one was a very enjoyable read. 5*
Going Under: A Bill Roberts Thriller by Silas Payton on

There are many crime thrillers out there and some are of a very high standard, so does this book hold its own and does it bring something new to the genre? I say a resounding yes to both. The story moves at a fast pace and has a good plot, that I found believable and held my attention. It is well written and contains a good mixture of action, dialogue and humour.
So what’s different? It is set in Toronto, Canada and makes a nice change from the mean streets of LA or New York. Then there is Bill Roberts himself, he’s not the hard drinking world weary type we read too much of. Bill is a dedicated detective who lost his wife two years earlier. He regrets not spending more time with her before she died, but his work has always been his life. He has a good relationship with his colleagues, Bill Roberts wit and the banter between them provides much of the comedy. I liked that Bill is not perfect. In one instance he falls of a treadmill as he needs to get back into shape. There is also a French speaking biker gang involved, and here is maybe an opportunity missed; the dual language must make things complicated for the police in Canada as I know not everyone is bilingual. This might be a snippet for the follow up, which I certainly look forwards too. I recommend this breath of fresh Canadian air.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fact or Fiction by History Mystery Books

I've downloaded this book as a freebie during a kindle give-away and that's why it was lucky to get a 3 star review. It was badly written, research was just plucked out of the air without quoting many sources and full of errors. The writer is hiding behind History Mystery books and I haven't found a way to contact him directly, so unusually my editing issues were mentioned in the review.

fact or Fiction by History Mystery Books on

This was a book I was very much looking forwards to reading. I have an interest in vampire myths, especially before fiction got its hands on it. The author has certainly put a lot of effort in researching his topic, going back as far as Egyptian and biblical times to get to the root of the vampire myth. My problem is how it was presented. The writer often mistakes cannibalism as a start of the vampire myth. I also thought some of the views were contradictory, such as the mention that vampires were not really mentioned before the Middle Ages, but then taking it back to the Egyptian myth of Osiris (which according to Wikipedia has nothing to do with vampirism.) I would have liked the author to have mentioned where he found his sources, as he claims to establish whether vampires are fact or fiction. You can do two things with a book like this, be meticulous with your research and really get to the root of the vampire myth,(quoting sources etc.) or just have fun with all that is being said and written about vampires. I think this book succeeds at neither. I also think that the book will benefit from a good edit. The sentences are long and rambling and there are still a lot of mistakes, but this can be amended and has not influenced my rating.

Thursday, 20 August 2015


This week i want to give a standing ovation to two fellow writers but for very different reasons. Firstly Patrick Hodges for tackling a difficult subject like bullying, but creating a lovely book in the process. I'm sure this book, in the right hands can bring about some much needed change and it is a five star read.
The second round of applause goes to Peg Glover, for writing a handy guide that will hopefully introduce more readers into the wonderful world of independently published books. I gave this 4 stars.
Joshua's Island by Patrick Hodges

Joshua is a small thirteen year old boy. Picked on by what he calls ‘the bully squad’ and shunned by the rest of his class mates. Too embarrassed to talk to his parents and ignored by an unsympathetic principal, he just hopes to survive the last year, before moving to high school. Then he gets partnered with Eve, one of the popular girls, for his science class. This class year looks to be the same hell as the one before. But then, gradually, both kids realise they are wrong about each other. What a sweet story this was. Well written and a joy to read despite its painful subject. Told alternating from Joshua’s, and then Eve’s perspective, we experience their developing friendship. The theme of this book is bullying, but it is about so much more. Hope, courage, friendship and young love, feature also very prominently. School was a long time ago for this reviewer but the book brought back a few painful memories; kids can be very cruel to each other. I think this book has an excellent message for youngsters and also for their parents, even if the first adult does nothing and won’t listen, try again. Eventually you will find a sympathetic ear. Don’t suffer in silence, talk to someone. 
Discover New Authors & Great Reads by Peg Glover

Independent writers come in all shapes and sizes and a bewildering number of genres. Peg Glover has created a great introduction to some of them. A number of reviews ordered by genre will give you an easy way into discovering some great new writers. The reviews are well written and give you a good idea what the book is about. The links to the websites are helpful and I certainly will check out some of the recommended writers. I was disappointed though in a few things. Firstly, I’m sure Giacomo Giammatteo is a great writer, but I don’t think we needed no less than 6 reviews of his books in the one genre. I’d rather Peg had selected a few more writers in the mystery and thriller section. She could have done one review with the comment that Giacomo’s whole oeuvre is worth a look. Secondly; the last list of recommendations. Writers like Dan Brown and John Grisham are great reads, but I hardly think they need to be in a book that aims to let you discover new writers.
A useful guide to discovery.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Wacky Stories With Twist Endings Volume 1 by John M W Smith

I'm normaly not this quick of the mark with book reviews, but this was a very quick read. Very enjoyable and a four star from me.
Wacky Stories With Twist Endings Volume 1 by M W Smith on

This was a very enjoyable book of short stories. I’m glad the title Wacky Stories was a bit of a misnomer as often things that are described as wacky/zany/madcap are often very unfunny.  This was a collection of situations with a surprise ending, or it’s not quite what you think it is about like; Act of Love. If I would have to pick a common theme I would say the complexities of relationships. It’s a great subject for twists in the tale stories, as relationships are a minefield of miscommunications and misunderstandings. My only complaint is that with eight stories, the book is very short. I certainly would like to read more of this author as he has a good easy-to-read style. Great for a commute or a weekend away.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Silence of the Stones by Rebecca Bryn

I would have liked to have posted this review a few days earlier, but with work etc. I didn't get the book finished until this morning. The book was free over the weekend so it would have been nice to blog about that too. Anyhoo, go and buy it, it's worth the money. I give it 5 stars.
The Silence of the Stones by Rebecca Bryn on

This book has all the ingredients for a good read; a plucky heroine that is far from perfect. A mystery that has you guessing to the very end and a nail biting ending. Alana is a struggling artist that inherits a cottage on the Welsh Moors. Despite her families warning she decides to keep the cottage and risks everything by not selling it but creating a monumental art work. The easy way would have been to sell the cottage and carry on as before, but Alana is inspired by the place and makes a bold move. Knowing many struggling artist I found her character ballsy and entirely believable. Alana soon uncovers the unhappy past of this village and finds that things are still not right. Mysterious Runes appear on doors followed by a death. They seem like natural deaths, but is someone out for revenge? The story is complex but Rebecca has written it in an easy to read style. I couldn’t put this book down as there were just so many mysteries to uncover.
Set against the very atmospheric backdrop of the Welsh moors and its ancient monuments, this is a book well worth reading. I hope to discover more of this talented writer.