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!
After three years away, Dana, a globe-trotting journalist, reluctantly returns to her foggy coastal hometown, Half Moon Bay. She's been running away, all of her adult life, from the mental illness and chaos that defined her childhood.
Now, her junkie brother, a former surf star, is tangled up with a brutal meth dealer and he's in the hospital. Dana and Shane bonded over surfing as teenagers, frequenting local breaks, including THE HOOK, to escape their violent and damaged family. Dana's father and brother walked away from Shane years ago, unwilling to deal with his volatility and drug use. But, she just won't give up on him.
As Dana turns to her friends and the tight-knit surfing community for help, she confronts her brother's illegal activities and nearly homeless existence. But, that's just the beginning ... a drug kingpin is chasing Shane, and then Dana, the FBI are involved, a gang war is building, and a new family crisis is brewing.
Meanwhile Dana's gut-wrenching and frightening journey forces her to face her ruinous childhood, her inability to sustain relationships, and her struggle to move on with her life...
What really struck me about this book was the brilliantly vivid descriptions. The opening scene was especially memorable and even though I've never been surfing, I felt like I was there with Dana underneath the waves and I was certainly holding my breath alongside her. These richly detailed descriptions continued throughout the book and really involved me in the storyline.
Although I don't have any particular interest in water sports, I still enjoyed this book. It's an action thriller with an extra surfing element that made it different, but no less enjoyable.
There was quite a bit of surfing 'lingo' which I had to look up and this slightly distracted me from the plot each time I had to stop reading and consult google. If you've got a keen interest in surfing though, this will definitely be a great book for you!
Overall it was a well-paced and page turning read. A great pick for adrenaline enthusiasts.
About the Author
Kathleen Doler grew up on California’s coast. She’s an author, journalist and adventure sports addict. She writes for national newspapers and magazines on everything from business and finance to helicopter skiing, sea kayaking and scuba diving. She also travels extensively, often while pursuing sports that have the potential to maim her. The Hook is her first novel.
SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER MURDER?
A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.
A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.
A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.
What do they have in common?
Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new thriller.
Yet again, another fantastic and original book from Anthony Horowitz! I'm a massive Horowitz fan and no matter how many books of his I read, I'm never disappointed. I only read my first book by him a year ago (in fact, it was the first book I ever reviewed on my blog) and I've been trying to get my hands on as many of his books as possible since!
The Word is Murder is completely unique, in that Anthony himself helps the detective to solve the crime. I loved this, and I loved reading about little details from his life like the process of script writing for Foyles War and references to things like Midsomer Murders (which if you've read previous reviews you'll know I'm obsessed with!)
This book is an addictive and unputdownable page-turner and Horowitz's distinctive voice constantly comes through. I often found myself chuckling at his comments and I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style.
The story is packed with red herrings and a totally unexpected and excellent twist. The characters are exceptionally well developed and make for a masterfully crafted novel.
Overall, I'm giving The Word is Murder 5 out of 5 and adding it to my Five Star Favourites Shelf. It was clever, compelling and completely unique. I'd wholeheartedly recommend it and I can't wait to go and buy my physical copy!
(Also, expect to hear a lot more about this book from me, over on Twitter. I'm going to Noirwich Crime Writing Festival this year to hear Anthony talk about The Word is Murder, so there will probably be a few excited tweets!!)
The Word is Murder is published by Penguin
This e-book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz is the author of the bestselling teen spy series, Alex Rider, and is also responsible for creating and writing some of the UK's most loved and successful TV series, including Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War.
He has also written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty; a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis; and his most recent stand-alone novel, Magpie Murders, was a Top Five Sunday Times bestseller.
He is on the board of the Old Vic Theatre, and was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.
The Word is Murder is the first in a series of crime novels starring Detective Daniel Hawthorne.
Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl.
A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.
Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?
I was ecstatic to receive a proof of Did You See Melody, as the cover is really pretty and combined with the synopsis, it sounded like my ideal summer read! From the very first page, I was completely gripped and I knew that I was in for a great story. It had me up way past my bedtime and I just couldn't put it down!
This standalone from Sophie Hannah is truly chilling and suspenseful and I can't believe I've never read anything by her before!
The characters are original and Cara is funny and relatable. I really enjoyed her narration and her inner thoughts about 'typical britishness' particularly made me smile.
The dialogue between her and the other characters felt realistic and kept up the pace of the novel which moved along smoothly.
I liked learning about the Melody Chapa case at the same time as Cara did through the articles and interviews, and I think it added an extra element of suspense.
I was kept on edge for the whole of the book and I'd never have guessed the ending.
Overall I'd give Did You See Melody 4.5 out of 5. It was chilling, gripping and packed with suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and I'd definitely recommend adding it to your summer reading list.
Did You See Melody? published by Hodder and Stoughton on 24th August
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories. In 2014, at the request of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than 15 countries. In September 2016 her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, was published and became an instant Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College.
She always trusted her husband.
Until he died.
Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed.
But when Maisie starts having nightmares, Clara becomes obsessed that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident.
Who wanted Nick dead? And, more importantly, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out the truth even if it makes her question whether her entire marriage has been a lie.
I was drawn into the book from the outset and while I didn't particularly like Clara, I felt her grief come through very strongly and experienced a wide range of emotions alongside her.
The chapters alternated between the perspectives of Clara and Nick which really engaged me and each time the point of view changed, I wanted to know more and more.
The book was quite slow-paced and while I don't usually enjoy this, I think in this case, it really built up the tension and made me even more determined to get to the bottom of the crash. Talking of the crash, I'm completely split about the ending. It's difficult to discuss without giving away any spoilers, but I'm totally in two minds about it. On one hand, I felt a little disappointed as so much tension had built up and I was hoping to be left open mouthed. Yet on the other, it was completely unexpected and I was left open mouthed, just in a different way than I had expected. The ending differs from others in the genre as there isn't really a massive finale, and because of the way it ends, the book feels more focused on the psychological effects of Nick's death on Clara, the struggles she and her family face and how she deals with it, than 'who wanted her husband dead? And, more importantly, why?'
So I'm certainly still on the fence about the ending, I can't decide whether I liked it or not, but for this reason it will definitely be memorable.
Overall, I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a tense and gripping read which I'd recommend for those who want a psychological suspense with a bit of a difference.
This book is published by HQ and is out tomorrow!
I won a copy of the book and this is my honest review.
About the Author
Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter. THE GOOD GIRL is her first novel.
A special mini review and a celebratory giveaway below!
I can't really believe I've been blogging for a year! It's gone so quickly and I've learnt so much in such a short space of time! Starting this blog is definitely one of the best decisions I've made. The bookish community is so supportive and I've made so many new friends through my little blog, people that I'd never usually get a chance to meet and talk to, people from all over the world united by books.
Every time someone asks me if I'd like to review a book, sends me surprise book post, or I'm approved for a book on NetGalley, I'm still shocked that someone actually wants me to review their book, it doesn't feel real. I'm so grateful every time I get to share my love of books, it's a dream come true for me to have my own little corner of the internet completely dedicated to what I love!
Thank you to all the people who have commented, followed my blog or shared my posts, thank you to the publishers and PRs who trusted me in the earlier days and took a chance on my blog and who introduce me to the most amazing books and finally, thank you to the authors, for writing fabulous books which constantly inspire me.
Mini Review - Nadiya's British Food Adventure
I downloaded a sample from NetGalley of the new cookbook by Nadiya Hussain, Nadiya's British Food Adventure and decided that the perfect way to celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog was to post something completely different than usual and do a mini review of the book as well as trying one of the recipes! Now, there's a reason that I'm a book blogger and not a baker, so you'll have to excuse my attempt as it's definitely not Great British Bake Off standard!
Although the sampler is only a few pages, it manages to really get across the essence of Nadiya and also the food in the recipe book. It's full of beautiful smiley photographs and mouth watering food and the layout is extremely aesthetically pleasing. The introduction from Nadiya is lovely, as are the notes at the top of the recipes which tell the story behind them. I really felt Nadiya's motivation of 'family and food, flavour and fun' coming through.
Now for my attempt at the recipe! There were two to choose from in the sampler, but I know my limits, so I decided on the Cheese Scones with Chive Butter. The recipe was easy to follow and I was pleasantly surprised with how my attempt turned out! While they don't look as beautiful as Nadiya's, they tasted absolutely delicious and were really easy to make! So here's my attempt:
From the sampler, I'd give Nadiya's British Food Adventure 5 out of 5! I'm definitely going to buy the complete book because I loved it!
Nadiya's British Food Adventure is published by Penguin
Now for the giveaway! What's a celebration without a giveaway, right? Plus, it's a small way for me to thank you for reading my blog, sharing my content on twitter and welcoming me into the book blogger community.
So, you've probably noticed a couple of affiliate links from Bureau Direct. I decided to feature them on my site because I always use them to order my stationery (which I buy a lot of!), I love their diaries for planning my posts and they have beautiful notebooks and pens too. I love stationery almost as much as I love books, so I was delighted to be able to partner with them! Therefore, the prize for this giveaway is very fitting, it's a £15 gift voucher for Bureau Direct! The voucher is valid for anything on the website, valid indefinitely and can be redeemed in full or part as you wish.
To enter, simply follow me on twitter @mistimoobooks, and retweet the tweet announcing the giveaway. It's open from today (August 4th) until August 19th and international entries are welcome, although please note that there's a small charge for international delivery, whereas delivery to the UK is free with a £10 spend.
Below are just a few products which I love (each under £15) but there are hundreds of other beautiful products on the website.
The above photos are affiliate links.
Click here to visit my trusted affiliate partner.