Monthly Archives: June 2014

Four Blind Mice by James Patterson

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Well, I just can’t seem to get enough of the Detective Alex Cross series, all of Patterson’s books have been great so far but I have found that I have really gotten into this series. They are also better read in the order they came out as James Patterson takes the time to set up each character so as the books go on the reader feels they are deep inside the pages of the book.

Four Blind Mice is the eighth book in the Alex Cross series and it has him and his best friend and partner John Sampson trying to figure out why one of Sampson’s army pals is being sentenced to death for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. This book highlights the difficulty of police work when trying to uncover a cover up but it hasn’t had any of the usual racial slurs that Cross has faced before.

The book also has many of the characters that I have grown to know and love, like nana mama who as she gets older I find my self worrying that she might not be around much longer and that makes me sad…..especially as she isn’t even real! Alex’s kids, Janie, Damon and Alex Jr are all there and seem to be shaping up to be fantastic people. We see some relatively new characters like Alex’s new love interest Detective Jamilla Hughes and we even meet some new characters like a possible love interest for the big old bear Sampson.

These books are a great read full of complicated crimes and complicated lives which with the help of Nana Mama and Sampson still manage to put a smile on my face at the end of each book. If you are looking for a great series to read then this is it!!

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Friends & Rivals by Tilly Bagshawe

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Now I am a huge fan of Tilly Bagshawe and I have to say this book might just have been the best yet. It was full of excitement and drama yet still managed to be quite romantic and sweet, it was like a fairy tale with a kick ass attitude.

The book is quite lengthy at 453 pages but I feel in this instance it allowed the reader to develop their own opinions of the characters that the author had laid out, it gave the reader’s time to pick who they where going to side with at any situation and gave you time to decide who you did like and who you hated.

The story is about the dynamic between business partners Ivan Charles and Jack Messenger, wife of Ivan and good friend to Jack Catriona Charles, photographer to the rich and famous Lex Abrahams and of course the famous Kendall Bryce who throughout this book is certainly the cat among the pigeons!

This story will make you angry with certain characters, it will make you feel sad for others but on the whole this book will make you happy you took the time to read it. A perfect book to put in your beach bag or to take on holiday, it is the epitome of holiday reading the right side of trashy and the right side of romance, perfect!

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Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson

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As usual this is the next novel in the DCI Banks series, whilst I have said that the other books could be read as stand alone novels this one is better read within the series as it makes quite a lot of references to past cases. I don’t think this is done deliberately as a means to get you to read all of the books, it is done to add context and for those who do read the books in order it allows us to cast our minds back to when we last saw the character the book is referring to at the time.

Wednesday’s Child is also the first episode of the DCI Banks TV series I watched and I have to say whilst it was actually a very good program the book of the same name is completely different and holds a slightly darker topic making it better in my opinion. The main topic is the only thing that is the same in both cases, two social workers turn up at a house and insist they have to take the child away due to reports of abuse, slowly it becomes apparent that these people are not who they said they are and the child has been kidnapped!

This leaves Banks and his team to figure out who might have had the nerve to pull of such an elaborate scheme, whilst trying to get the child back alive. Banks is faced with nothing but problems from the start as the council estate the child was taken from isn’t very willing to talk to the police and the ones who are, well Banks is sure they are lying to him.

A great read from crime fiction fans, I must warn you however that to ground the book in reality the author makes reference to the moors murders. Robinson doesn’t go into detail or make any light-hearted comments about the situation but some other reviews I have read are not happy with their fiction being marred with horrific facts.

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Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson

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Past Reason Hated is the fifth novel in the DCI Banks series, and I must say the characters get better with every book. This novel sees the entrance of some new characters like DC Susan Gay which is good on two levels, first of all she is a woman and I like a good female character and Susan shows promise of being just that and secondly it shows that the fictional series is moving along making it seem more real, as with real life people move on or get promoted so in the fact that after five books the author has had a shake up of characters makes the series more believable and true to life.

Past Reason Hated is a good read, not overly long but full of intrigue and plot twists. just when you think you have found the killer something else happens to make you question your own logic.

The book centers on the apparently motive less murder of Caroline Hartley, DCI Banks originally wonders if it could have been a lovers tiff and suspects her partner Veronica Shildon but as Caroline’s past slowly emerges it becomes a difficult task for Banks to find one motive let alone one killer! Can Banks unravel the secrets of Carolines past to solve the mystery of who killed her and more importantly why.

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The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

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Oh what a tangled web we weave, should be this books tag line! The Hanging Valley is the fourth in the DCI Banks series and I have to say it is as complex and exciting as the previous three. I hasten to add that these books don’t have to be read in order but I have personally as I feel it builds up the characters and any on going stories better.

In the Hanging Valley DCI Banks is sent to Swainshead to investigate the murder of a man found in a place called the hanging valley, the man is difficult for Banks to identify seeing as the victim was found missing his belongings and his face!!! As the investigation progresses, without much help from the locals Banks realises that this case might just be linked to another murder and the disappearance of a young woman five years ago.

Can Banks and his fellow officers solve the case or cases without the help of the locals? Without much evidence to go on will DCI Banks not only be able to solve the case but solve it with enough evidence for a conviction!

This book is a good read, Robinson lays out all the suspects early in the case so as a reader you can try to solve the mystery yourself. At only 324 the book isn’t hard to devour in a short period of time, I would recommend giving Robinson a read if you love crime fiction.

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