I post book reviews as often as possible but at least once a week every Wednesday! I hope they help you to find some new books that you'll love as much as I did!
Today I'm re-sharing my review of The Confession by Jo Spain in celebration of the paperback publication! If you still haven't read it yet I'd really recommend checking it out!
SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE NOT ALL THEY SEEM...
SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HIDES A SECRET...
SOMETIMES A CONFESSION IS THE BEGINNING... NOT THE END
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker HarryMcNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry's many sins - corruption, greed, betrayal - have finally caught up with him.
An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.
Has Carney's surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?
If I was asked to describe this book in one word, without a doubt the word I would use is twisted. It's full of manipulation, secrets, betrayal and intrigue, it flips everything on its head and I love it!
At first, I found it a little slower than I would've liked, however as the tension started to build and the pace picked up, Spain reeled me in deeper and deeper and before I knew it, I was obsessed.
It's told from three different perspectives which weave together well and maintained my interest by keeping me on my toes and leaving me wanting more at the end of each chapter.
My favourite perspective was from JP as I found him and his past fascinating. He was joined by other brilliantly written characters such as Julie and Harry who Spain managed to make me care about and engage with, despite their many flaws and the fact I didn't particularly like them as people.
During the last few chapters, I was frantically trying to get to the bottom of everything and all of the things I thought I'd guessed turned out to be wrong. The ending was a complete shock and it took me a good few minutes to recover from the final 'showdown'. For me, it was extremely powerful and a brilliant ending that really resonated in my mind.
Overall, I'm giving The Confession 4 out of 5. It's tense, taut and terrifically twisted.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
The above is an affiliate link.
About the Author
Jo Spain has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament. Her first novel, With Our Blessing,was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. Joanne lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Do No Harm by L V Hay. Thank you so much to Anne for organising the tour. Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops!
Till death do us part…
After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.
What first drew me to Do No Harm was the topic of obsession and control which this book explores, because I find it fascinating reading about characters in this situation, seeing how they deal with it and the extent to which it affects their lives. Do No Harm is brilliant for this as the themes are examined really well through the use of a mystery POV which is brilliantly effective at getting across how dark and sinister obsession can become.
The sense of dread builds throughout the book keeping you hooked and desperate to find out what's going to happen. I found myself never knowing who to trust and there are so many twists and turns, that I never knew where the story was going. I went through so many theories about what was going to happen in the end because every time I thought I had guessed, something came along which changed my mind all over again.
Overall, I'm giving Do No Harm 4.5 out of 5. It's so twisty, with lots of tension and keeps you on your toes the whole way through.
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
The above are affiliate links
About the Author
Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters' Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. Her critically acclaimed debut thriller The Other Twin was published in 2017.
Just a quick note before I start this review, today is my two year blogiversary! By complete coincidence, I scheduled this review for today, not realising that it was the two year anniversary of my blog. When I checked what I'd posted last year to commemorate it, I realised I'd reviewed a sampler for Nadiya's cookbook Nadiya's British Food Adventure on my Blogiversary last year! So it seems very fitting to have my review for Nadiya's latest cookbook today!
Since I didn't remember in time that the anniversary was today, I don't have a giveaway lined up this year, but I'm going to try to organise one very soon just as a little thank you to anyone who reads my blog, or follows me on Twitter or Instagram etc. because I'm really grateful for the support. I've made so many new friends over the past two years and I couldn't have wished for anything better.
Finally I just wanted to give a little shoutout to Nikola over at Breathing Through Pages (I hope you don't mind!) for always sharing and commenting on my posts and including me in your happy weekend posts on Twitter, it always makes me smile and feel involved :) So thank you :) (He writes brilliant reviews so go take a look! Click the link above)
That 'quick note' turned into a not so quick note, so I should probably get on with the review now!!
I really enjoyed reviewing Nadiya's latest cookbook! It was so fun to have a go at something a little different from what I usually do and I really loved trying some of the many recipes! I've included some photos of my attempts in my review, but obviously I'm not a professional baker so you'll have to excuse my presentation!
The photos in the cookbook, however, are beautiful, very bright and colourful and high quality. The whole book just has a happy feel to it really, with lovely smiley photos of Nadiya baking to guide you through things like the Ham and Cheese Crown and wonderful stories at the top of each recipe detailing what inspired her and what each recipe means to Nadiya. I loved this. Another thing I loved was the little notes section at the back to write things like your favourite recipes. This is just another example of a small extra detail which makes the book really special.
One thing I would say though, is that some of the ingredients aren't things that you'd just have in your cupboard so some will need planning to ensure that you're able to get the ingredients. For example, I needed dried apples for one of the recipes and nowhere near me seemed to sell them. That's probably just because I live in quite a small area, and I'm sure most other places sell them, but just make sure you plan for the recipes you want to make, to ensure you have the ingredients in.
So now on to my attempts! First up, was the Ham and Cheese Crown.
I thought the instructions for this were brilliant, there were additional step by step photos provided which were really clear and easy to follow. I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! It's not as beautiful as Nadiya's but it tasted delicious!
Next was the Purple Velvet Cake.
Again, the instructions were easy to follow and it tasted delicious! The texture was beautiful and what I love about it is that it's lactose free and there's no food colouring at all! The vibrant colour comes from the blueberries!
I also made the Strawberry Coconut Ice and Apple Rocky Road but they got demolished before I had the chance to take photos!!
Overall, I'm giving Nadiya's Family Favourites 5 out of 5. It's really easy to follow, with beautiful photos and stories and has lots of delicious recipes. I'm really looking forward to trying the rest!
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review.
The above is an affiliate link.
Book Details and About the Author
This is the OFFICIAL cookbook, featuring the beautiful, simple and must-try recipes from her upcoming BBC TV series NADIYA'S FAMILY FAVOURITES.
Nadiya shares the food she loves to cook and eat with her family and friends, offering fast, easy and delicious new recipes for every kind of day.
This cookbook shows you how to create the perfect dishes to complement the moments we all love, from days out with friends to big get-togethers and lazy weekends at home, as well as simple and satisfying solutions for busy weeknights and speedy showstoppers for impromptu guests.
Nadiya's new classics from this weeks episode. . .
· FRUIT SALAD FATTOUSH. Nadiya's breakfast twist on Fattoush, a Middle Eastern salad. Fresh, frozen and dried fruits adorned in crumbled, crispy cinnamon tortilla chips.
· GINGER RICE WITH SPICED CHICKPEAS. Basmati rice steeped in fresh ginger and finished in lots of butter, piled high with spiced chickpeas.
· AVOCADO PASTA WITH PEAS AND MINT. A quick and easy mid-week delight. Creamy avocado, fresh mint, peas and red chilli.
· CARROT CAKE PAKORAS WITH A CREAM CHEESE DIP. Imagine a carrot cake, with spices, nuts and raisins, but deep fried, hot and dusted with icing sugar, served with a cool sweet cream dip . . .
With over 100 easy and rewarding recipes, Nadiya's family favourites will soon become yours too.
This is the cookbook you'll reach for time and time again for those memorable moments. You'll find quick meal solutions, food to lift the spirits, fuel for hungry bellies and feasts for friends.
Let Nadiya's recipes fill your home with memories, just as they do hers.
After winning 2015's Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain has gone on to capture the hearts of the nation. A columnist for The Times and a regular reporter for The One Show, Nadiya has also presented two of her own BBC cookery series to great acclaim with Nadiya's British Food Adventure reaching over 3 million viewers. Her next cookery series will air on BBC2 in summer 2018, accompanied by her brand new TV tie-in cookbook.
Born in Luton to British Bangladeshi parents, Nadiya now lives in Milton Keynes with her husband, Abdal, and their three children.
Her previous cookery titles include Nadiya's Kitchen and Nadiya's British Food Adventure.
Susie and her sister have never been close. These days they barely speak. So when Danielle messages her out of the blue and begs to meet, Susie knows something must be wrong.
But what Danielle tells her seems crazy. Her husband, Simon, may be a bully, but surely he wouldn't hurt her?
Then the accident happens. And Susie is forced to rethink everything.
Who is lying?
Who is telling the truth?
And who, really, is the killing type?
When I saw that this was available for free on Amazon, I couldn't help but download it straight away because I'm a massive fan of Jane Corry's work. As a short story, it's the ideal length for reading on a quick journey, which is how I read it. I started it as soon as I got on the train and I was actually willing the train to arrive a little late so that I'd be able to finish it! Luckily I did manage to finish it in time and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!
The plot is twisty and intriguing and I think that actually, the idea could've worked really well as a full length novel because I found the characters interesting and would've loved to find out more about them, however, for such a short read, I think the amount of detail given was just right and any more may have detracted from the storyline and suspense.
Overall, I'm giving The Killing Type 5 out of 5. It's entertaining, suspenseful and packs a punch. If you've never read anything by Jane Corry before, I'd highly recommend downloading this. You'll be hooked on her writing in no time! The only problem you'll have is that you'll have to go and buy all of her books!
About the Author
Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has spent time working as the writer in residence of a high security prison for men - an experience that helped inspire her Sunday Times bestsellers 'My Husband's Wife' and 'Blood Sisters'. Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. Many of her ideas strike during morning dog-jogs along the beach followed by a dip in the sea - no matter how cold it is!
Jane's brand-new thriller 'The Dead Ex' is published by Penguin Viking and is available now! (Look out for my review for it very, very soon!)
You can find Jane on Twitter at @JaneCorryAuthor and on Facebook at JaneCorryAuthor as well as Instagram.
Today is my stop on the blogtour for The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise. Thanks so much to Anne for organising the tour.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops.
Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant's vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex's own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow labourers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?
Wow, what a beautifully written debut The Emperor of Shoes is.
It transported me straight into a completely different world through the rich and vivid descriptions and I could hear the dialogue perfectly in my head.
I felt that there was a real authenticity to the book which was aided by the realistic and well-developed characters, particularly Alex. I really enjoyed being part of Alex's journey and seeing the way he and his relationships progress and change during the course of the book.
I liked how Wise explores the different cultures and also the issues surrounding the treatment and exploitation of workers, yet he also brings in humour, making it multi-layered and all the more absorbing.
Overall, I'm giving The Emperor of Shoes 4 out of 5. It's beautifully written and engrossing, a debut not to be missed.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
The above are affiliate links.
About the Author
Born in Boston, Spencer Wise is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Texas at Austin and worked in the editorial departments at Sports Illustrated and Time Out New York. His work has appeared in Narrative magazine, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Florida Review, and New Ohio Review. He is the winner of the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. Wise teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.
Click here to visit my trusted affiliate partner.