Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Blog Tour: Burned and Broken by Mark Haddie

Burned and Broken opened with one of the most graphic and horrific scenes that I have ever read.  The book opens with DI Sean Carragher burning to death in his car.  His body is found, burnt beyond all recognition.  Meanwhile a vulnerable young girl, fresh out of the care system is trying to get to the bottom of why her friend was killed.  As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague's death, they're under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force's reputation.  When a dramatic turn of events shed light on both cases, it is up to DS Pearson and DS Russell to piece the puzzle together and try their best to bring both their colleague and the young girl to justice.

There was something about this book that was so dark and so haunting about this book that it left me entranced.  It really is one of the hardest books that I have ever read in terms of graphics and gore, but it was so well written and edge of your seat good that I loved it anyway.

The characters were very relatable.  I can't believe that this a debut novel because it has the style of someone who has been writing novels for many years.  Burned and Broken just flows easily and even though the story does jump in places, it is very easy to follow.

There was simply no way that I was going to be able to guess what happened in this book and the twists and turns were coming so fast that I felt like I was on a rollarcoaster.  Burned and Broken is one of the best thrillers that I have ever read, with its fast pace keeping me interested for the duration of the book.  I'm still very new to crime novels and thrillers, but the more I seem to read, the more I am realising how much I like this genre.  This book stands out from the crowd when it comes to this genre and I will have problem reading his work again, likewise, I will have problem recommending it.

I would like to thank the publisher for my copy of this book in return for an honest review as part of the blog tour.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Blog Tour: Relativity by Antonia Hayes

When I started reading this book I wasn't sure if it was for me.  I was worried that this book was for a more mature audience, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  It's easy to see why this book has been receiving such rave reviews, as it is really very hard to put down and I found myself reading this book in one sitting.

Relativity tell the story of Claire, a single mother to twelve year old Ethan.  After suffering a brain injury at just four months old, Ethan's future was never certain, but he has recovered remarkably well, exceeding all expectations and is a genius when it comes to physics and astronomy.  The book also introduces us to Mark, Ethan's estranged father who is returning home to be with his dying father after being absent from his life for many years.  As well as focusing in family, Relativity also focuses on friendships in the form of Ethan and Allison, a friend that he has made while he was in hospital. 

Relativity shows the relationships between family members and how they react to one another.  It also has a string focus in friendships as I have already mentioned.  Throughout the book we see relationships being formed, especially when it comes to Ethan, with us seeing him striking up a friendship with Allison and also getting into contact with his father.  However, for a book with relationships at its core, it also focuses on heartbreaking subjects, which I won't go into, because I don't want to spoil the story for future readers, but it makes for some very hard reading towards the end.

This is not my usual kind of read and I really should not have liked this book, going by my usual reads, but I absolutely loved it.  The author really pulled off this story, with the themes and emotions complementing each other brilliantly.  I can see that this book is one that is going to take the world by storm.  Relativity is beautifully written and absolutely heart-wrenching at the same time.  I loved everything about this book and I really cannot recommend it enough.

I would like to thank the publishers for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review as part of the relativity Blog Tour.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Year of Saying Yes Part 1: It Started with a Dare by Hannah Doyle

Even though I've only read the first part of this four part series, I am already completely in love with it.  The Year of Saying Yes, Part 1, is a breath of fresh air, that made me laugh and smile the whole way through it.  While I would have loved to have been able to sit down and devour all four parts of this story in one go, I am happy in the knowledge that I have three more installments of this little gem to enjoy in the future.

In Part 1 of The Year of Saying Yes, we meet Izzy, who finds herself spending every New Year writing down the same list of resolutions and never actually seeing them through.  This year she is determined to stick to her resolutions and she plans on doing this by saying Yes to new experiences instead of saying no to things.  With this in mind, she sees a way that she can forward her career while sticking to her new year resolutions.  Each month Izzy will be set challenges by members of the public that will see her say yes to something that she would not otherwise have done. Part 1 of the series sees Izzy complete these challenges for January, February and March.  

I can't remember the last time that I enjoyed a story or a character as much as this one and I was disappointed that I had to stop reading after part 1.  I can't wait to get my hands on the next three installments of this story, so I can catch up with Izzy and find out what she did next.

Hannah Doyle has really made an impression on me, as she pulled me into the story and kept me thoroughly entertained throughout with her effortless style of writing, that was also laugh out loud funny.  The Year of Saying Yes is a perfect pick me up read for these long, dreary January days and will put a huge smile on the readers face.

I really can't recommend this series enough and I am so looking forward to getting my hands on the next three installments.  I read a lot of books in this genre and a lot of them can be hit and miss, but what I have read of this series so far has made a huge impression on me and I will telling anyone who will listen to me, just how great this story really is.

I would like to thank Frances at Headline for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

You can buy this book here.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Dry by Jane Harper

When I started reading this book, I really wasn't sure if it was for me.  I started to steal ten minutes with it here and there for a while, until I got to about page 50 and then I no longer had trouble with picking up the book, the trouble was with putting it down.  Set in Australia, in what is the biggest drought the country has seen in many many years, the rural town of Kiewarra has bigger problems to face then the drought.  After fleeing the town two decades earlier with his father, after being accused of murdering his friend and girlfriend at the time, Policeman, Aaron Fauk makes a return to the town to attend the funeral of his one best friend, Luke Hadler.  Hadler is accused of murdering both his wife Karen and their six year old son Billy, before turning the gun in himself.  The only surviving member of the Hadler family is Luke and Karen's thirteen month old daughter, Charlotte, who has now been placed in the care of Luke's mother and father.  But there is a reason that Fauk hasn't returned to his hometown before now, as many of its residents are certain that he murdered Ellie Deacon twenty years ago and are setting out to ensure that he knows he is no longer in the town.  After seeing how the accusations made against his childhood friend is affecting the family members that he has left behind, Fauk finds himself opening an investigation into what happened to the Hadler family and more importantly, who.  But in the midst of this investigation, Fauk may just find the answers he has waited twenty years to hear in relation to the death of Ellie Deacon.

After finishing this book, it is very easy to see how the film rights have already been sold.  The Dry was written to be adapted into a film and, in my opinion, has all the right ingredients to make it a huge blockbuster.  The suspense in The Dry is second to none, and I have never read a book that has had me on the edge of my seat like this one has.  Jane Harper keeps the story moving at a brilliant pace and keeps the suspense up, only to break it down again, when you realise that the story is moving in a completely different direction that the one you thought it was going to take.

There was many shocks for me when it came to reading this book, but the biggest shock was not contained within the story or the pages.  The biggest shock for me is that this book is Jane Harper's debut novel, because the style of the writing is what you would expect from someone who has been dishing out a novel a year for a couple of decades.  I am so looking forward to seeing what else Jane Harper has up her sleeve, when it comes to future books.

The Dry is a harrowing story, that is full to the brim of twists and turns and that keeps the reader thoroughly entertained and on the edge of their seat.  I had this novel devoured in a few short hours and I am finding it nearly impossible to find the words to do this book justice.  The characters all seems so real and I felt as if I was watching this on a documentary rather than reading a work of fiction, they were all so very well developed. 

The setting for the story is very unique and spellbinding.  While this book could be set anywhere at all in the world, the fact that it is set in Australia in the height of a drought adds to the suspense of the story.  

I can not recommend this book enough.  It's my second read of the year, but is definitely a front runner for my book of 2017.


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