Lee Mitchell is a young barrister from a working-class Caribbean background: in the cut-throat environment of the courtroom, everything is stacked against her.
On her doorstep in South London the 15-year-old son of the pastor at the local Black church is shot, and the local community is shattered. All evidence is pointing to infamously corrupt, racist police officer Sergeant Jack Lambert as the irredeemable suspect. His own boss – rebel-turned-copper Danny Wallace – is certain he is guilty.
Against her will, Lee is strong-armed into defending him. With cries of ‘Black Lives Matter!’ echoing in the streets, Lee is at the centre of the turmoil as lies, anger, and mistrust spiral out of control.
With the line between her personal and professional life becoming increasingly blurred, Lee keeps asking herself the same question: How can she defend the indefensible?
WhatI think :
Lee (Leanne) is a young barrister from a normal working class family with Caribbean background. She has a lot to prove.
When the 15 year old son of her local pastor is shot, the word is that a local racist and dirty police officer Sgt Jack Lambert is guilty, even his boss thinks so. As do the local community.
Lee has no choice but to defend this corrupt officer, something even her own family don’t want her to do.
But how can she defend him ?
I’m really not a fan of police procedurals or books depicting racism in any form, BUT, I was certainly intrigued from the start to see where this story would go, I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me interested throughout, which is a first because as I mentioned before I find courtroom dramas a little boring. This one seemed to have a little ‘more’ than usual
Brilliant Characters and a interesting story with a theme that sadly is all too real in this day and age.
This is the second book to feature the character of Lee Williams written by this author. I haven’t read the first one ‘Without Prejudice’ I think it is a bonus if you have read the first but its not necessary. I will definitely be reading the next book.
As I mentioned before I did enjoy this book and give it 7/10 (4 stars )
Published by Hamish Hamilton on 16/03/2023
The BIGGEST Thank you to Jasmin Lindemeir from Viking Books (Penguin Random House) for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.
Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.
Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.
As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.
Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.
What I think :
This is the story of Teddy and Ada …
When Teddy arrives in the Small town of Rye he’s looking for a brand new start. He soon gets a job in the Antique/Curio shop run by Berry & Vincent. Teddy soon discovers that the owner Mr Vincent, who is silent, is not well liked in the town (Well, he is a really awful person who loves to upset people. No sign of Berry though …)
Ada is a single mum, she has a little boy called Albie who’s four. They’ve lived in Rye for a while but she’s not really made any friends, in fact she feels quite alone. Its quite inevitable that these two lost and broken souls would become friends …
This book is Dark and Weird and Very Strange !!
It starts off like any normal book, you think its probably going to be a thriller, then suddenly it turns into something else entirely !!!
I’m really not quite sure how to tell you anything about this really expertly written novel without giving anything away.
It has many dark themes woven into its story and in some places you’re not really sure what you are reading, a gothic novel or a horror story. The one thing that I can tell you is that its very CREEPY !! I have read many horror stories over the years BUT, this one had the potential to unnerve me and give me nightmares.
I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the authors next one.
I give it 9/10 (5 Stars)
Published by Orenda Books on 19 Jan 2023.
The Biggest Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.
Outside, the storm rages. Inside each group, a killer lurks.
And will anyone make it out alive? . . .
What I think :
When I first Started reading this novel it wasn’t clear what country it was set in (although I guessed probably Switzerland or some equally cold country) or even what time – now 5,10 or even in 20 years or that it was a dystopian world. However it soon becomes clear that its not life as we know it. All of the above do become apparent quite quickly though.
All the way through there isn’t a dull moment, its very fast paced, there really is a lot happening. (WARNING : The opening pages are pretty gruesome, so strap yourself in for a bumpy ride !)
This action packed novel is spread over three sites with three main characters, Hannah, Meg and Carter who narrate the chapters and tell the story of the ‘survivors’.
These characters are brilliantly written, and I certainly couldn’t put this book down, In fact I was up until the early hours of the morning to finish this book !
I Loved it ! But I wouldn’t expect anything less with a C.J.Tudor novel ( I always get very excited when a new C.J.Tudor novel is published, I just love her books and have read all of them !)
This is my first book review in a long time (about 6 months) and I couldn’t think of a better book to get started with reviewing again.
I give this brilliant book 10/10 (5 Stars)
Published by Michael Joseph on 19/01/23
I purchased my copy from Waterstones and paid £14.99.
I haven’t written a book review in a long time. That’s partly because I’ve had some really personal stuff going on in the latter part of last year. When you have stuff on your mind you really can’t think of anything else but that thing … Reading is the last thing you want to or can do. So there wasn’t really much to put on here.
BUT, things seem to be getting better and fingers crossed, my reading mojo will be back and I’ll have lots of fab reviews to post. Keep your eyes peeled very soon 🙂
Anyway, My TBR is toppling over so maybe I should get reading !!
Publishers and Authors, if you want books reviewing then I’m your gal !!!
Nessa: The Seeker Jo: The Protector Harriett: The Punisher
With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…
After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.
On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.
Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.
So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…
What I think :
Harriett : Once had a big job in advertising and she had a husband, now she has neither of those things. No one has seen her out and about for months. The outside of her house is looking very neglected and her garden is a jungle, some say that she tends it in the night time. Naked.
Jo : She also had a Important job as a hotel manager. She now has the Menopause, a husband and a child. She’s hated her body for thirty years but now she’s learnt how to channel her anger, she runs. She also owns and runs a female only gym, Furious Fitness. It helps.
Nessa : Is a nurse, had a husband that died in the line of duty as a police officer, has twin girls that are now at college and also hears dead people. Mostly dead murdered girls.
The three women become friends. Nessa then hears a girl calling for her to find her body, they find her in a black binbag on Danskammer beach near to where the millionaires live in their big, swanky houses. The police it seems, are really not interested. They say that this poor young girl was just a sex-worker, not important. This makes the women angry, they decide to investigate what happened by themselves. This in turn uncovers secrets, lies and a hell of a lot of criminal activity in the little town of Mattauk.
Can Harriett, Jo & Nessa right all the wrongs and protect the innocent … ?
When I was first asked to read and review this book I thought it was a novel about women coping with the Menopause. How wrong was I ? Whilst the dreaded M word is always lurking in the background, for all three women but especially Jo, Its much, more about women and what they are capable of doing and achieving.
It tells the stories of three normal women that live in the small Long Island town of Mattauk. I was so intrigued to find out where these women’s stories were going and also what their back stories were. I mean lets face it, these women have all got ‘Super Powers’ Harriett with her greenfingers and love of ‘nature’. Nessa who can ‘Hear’ dead people and last but not least Jo who can channel anger with her hands. These are three very strong women !
These women are Super hero’s !
I couldn’t put this excellently written book down, I mean who doesn’t love a tale that is just a little bit supernatural, about three ordinary women righting wrongs, kicking ass along the way !?
I absolutely loved this book, its quite probably one the best books I’ve read this year. I give it 10/10. (5 stars)
Published by HQ on 18/08/22
The biggest thank you to the fabulous folk at HQ for the finished hardback copy of the book in return for an honest review.
What are the things you know about people when you’ve been friends for twenty years?
A group of close friends, their bonds forged at the nursery gates two decades ago, have celebrated, commiserated and grown together: they thought they all knew each other so well.
Until the affair.
Now a crack appears in everything.
Could one betrayal really destroy it all?
Other People’s Husbands is a story of friendship and love, crossing boundaries and breaking vows, of trying to fix what you believed could never be broken.
What I think :
Phil & Georgina
Kit & Natalie
Ross & Vanessa
Andrew & Flick
Dom & Sarah
Rupert & Annie,
With their assortment of children this group of people have been friends forever, well, since they met at the gates of nursery school many years ago. Twenty years and counting. They know each other very well however, maybe some would say too well …
The have been there for each other through all the ups and downs in life, now in their 40’s and 50’s with grown up children, the group think they’ve seen it all and done it all – Together.
However then the inevitable happens and there is an affair and it changes everything …
Can they weather this storm or will it be the end for this group of best friends … ?
I did enjoy this book, however I did find it slow going to start with, but I think that’s because with all the characters involved, and there is quite a list, you have to lay down the groundwork and introduce everyone.
I thought the many characters where well written and I did find myself feeling for a couple of them at times and wondering what I would do in their position.
It is a tale that tells of female relationships, friendships, heartbreaks, emotions and real life. After the initial slowness I did find myself reading quite big chunks and well into the night as I needed to know what was going to happen next.
This book is ideal to take on holiday with you as its quite an easy read.
I give this book 8/10 (5 Stars)
Published by Michael Joseph on 21/07/22
The biggest Thank you to Courtney Jefferies at ED PR for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.
Other People’s Husbands by Elizabeth Noble – Chapter 1
You could see the newlywed sparkle between them – the tenderness. His proud eyes followed her everywhere she walked. Or swayed. She’d definitely drunk the most, of the women at least, but it didn’t make her sloppy or embarrassing, like a fourth glass might have made Georgie. She just became her funnier.
Vanessa and Ross seemed terribly clever. Properly intellectual. The type who read more than one newspaper, even on weekdays, and listened to Radio 4 instead of Radio 2.
They’d met at Cambridge, she knew. She imagined all their other friends were professors and junior government ministers and book editors. Georgie was pretty sure she wasn’t smart enough to get into a serious conversation with them. She wasn’t quite as sure who made her feel that way – was it them, or did she do it to herself?
But here she was. Here they were, the three of them, her, Phil and Liam, curled up now under a crochet blanket on an ancient green velvet chaise-longue at the foot of the bed in the room they’d been given. Liam, her beautiful and precious little boy, with his ginger curls and his dusting of pale freckles, was, it seemed, her golden ticket into this particular club.
They wouldn’t have been her friends at school or university, these women – she was sure of it. She’d have envied them, imitated them, admired them, maybe even despised them.
It was different for the guys. Men didn’t evaluate, didn’t keep score. Not in the same way, she thought. They might all have been on the same football team, or propping up the same bar, and it would have been easier for them to be friends. An architect, a designer, a doctor, an entrepreneur, a house-husband and an insurance broker walk into a bar… They’d fallen, it seemed, into a quick and easy, matey friendship. If they had less in common than their wives – maybe if they only had in common those wives, their children and their postcodes – it didn’t seem so obvious.
It was always more complicated for women. It always had been. But then Liam had been lined up between Natalie’s Stella and Annie’s Louis, and been invited to play with Vanessa’s Daisy, and shared a lift to Sarah’s Dylan’s birthday party with Flick’s Zoë. And over a few months, via dozens of playdates, a hundred cups of tea, and a Christmas fair committee, all this had happened, and now they were ‘a gang’. She’d even used the word, on the phone to her mother, turning down an invitation to stay for the bank holiday. ‘We’d have loved to, but we’re away with the gang.’
And there were years to come. Years and years. These children would grow up together. And these people were going to be her friends. Hers and Phil’s. She wanted to savour every moment, but at the same time, she couldn’t wait. And it could only get better, right ?
What happens when the person closest to you has led a life of deception?
After the funeral of her mother, Sally, Alice Kent is approached by a man named Angus Tweedy. He claims to be her father and tells her that he served time in prison for marrying Sally bigamously.
What does he hope to gain by telling her this now, thirty years on? How can her adored dad Ralph not be her true father? And why did her mother betray her so badly?
She had accepted Sally’s many faults, and her reluctance to ever speak of the past. But faced with this staggering deception, Alice knows she must uncover the whole truth about her mother.
What I think :
Whilst at the funeral of her mother Sally, Alice is approached by a man called Angus Tweedy. He claims to be her biological father. He also tells her that he hasn’t been in her life because he’s been in prison, the reason being that he married her mother when he was married to someone else, he was prosecuted and sent to prison. He’s a bigamist.
Its been thirty years so why now when her mother is no longer here to tell her if this is the truth ?Also what about her lovely ‘Dad’ Ralph ? Where does he fit into all of this, has he been lying to her all her life as well ?
Alice feels betrayed.
She decides she must learn the truth …
Told over dual timelines with Alice as she tries to unpick the lies and secrets to work out the truth and with her mum Sally’s ( N.B : Sally changes her names a couple of times over the course of the book) early life.
This is a story of hard times but also survival. As always Lesley’s books always depict some really hard subjects. This time its rape. With excellent characters and storylines that make Lesley’s books as brilliant as they are, this is a tale that keeps you reading well into the night.
I’m always very excited to be asked to review Lesley’s books and can’t believe that this is her thirtieth !!! I mean Wow !!
I love all the little twists and turns that make up these wonderful plot lines.
As always, I give this book a well deserved 10/10 (5 Stars)
Published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 07/07/22.
The biggest Thank you to Courtney Jefferies at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Also for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book 🙂
The service was sad, but at the same time uplifting. Some of Sally’s friends had decorated the church with an abundance of flowers, and it looked so pretty with sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows. Each of the pew ends had a posy of spring flowers pinned to it, more like a wedding than a funeral.
The Reverend Henry Dawes had known Sally well and managed to bring a little humour into his eulogy by speaking of Sally’s enthusiasm for jumble sales. He reminded them of when she’d put on an old lady’s pink corset over her clothes, and a fancy but battered hat, then kept them on for the whole day.
Sally had chosen a poem to be read, and asked that Mike read it as she knew that neither Ralph, nor Alice nor Emily would get through it without crying.
Weep not for me though I have gone.
Grieve if you will, but not for long.
It was typical of their mother that she wanted them to celebrate her life rather than mourn. In fact in the past she’d often joked that she wanted Queen’s ‘Killer Queen’ played at her funeral. They’d laughed with her about it, but once they were planning the service it didn’t seem right.
Alice glanced sideways at her father several times, but though his lower lip quivered, he was holding it together, as was Emily. The interment would be the testing time. Alice didn’t like the idea of burials, but her mother had been saying for years that that was what she wanted, so it had to be done. Alice and Emily had dressed her themselves in the coral-coloured kaftan Sally had loved, and fixed two glittery hair slides in her platinum blonde wig. Both daughters had wanted to keep her wig, but they knew that Sally would have been furious if they didn’t put it on her, with full makeup and nail varnish that matched the kaftan. As she would have said, ‘One has to keep up standards.’
She had looked beautiful in her simple white coffin but, then, she’d been a beauty as a young woman. Even age and cancer couldn’t destroy that.
The interment was more painful than the service. Alice was all too aware of the horror on the grandchildren’s faces when they saw the deep hole in the ground and realized that was where their beloved granny was bound.
For Alice it was the finality that was shocking. She’d never hear her mum’s pealing laugh again, never feel the warmth of her hugs. They hadn’t seen eye to eye very often ‒ in fact they’d had some terrible rows ‒ but they had loved one another.
It was only once the roses had been dropped into the grave, the last prayer said and people had started to move away that Alice noticed the tall, thin man with a deep tan. She knew instinctively he was the driver of the Jaguar earlier, although she’d only seen him in her rear-view mirror
A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.
One last chance
It will be a last, luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems…
One last secret
Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…
What I think :
Teodora (Dora for short) is a Sex Worker or and Escort, top end of course. She’s been in the game for around ten years. One afternoon her agent Elsbeth asks her to do one extra job. Against her better judgement she agrees to it. When she arrives at the hotel she realises that something is wrong. Her client is wearing a mask. Dora can’t see the mans face. Its not long before it all goes wrong and the man badly beats her. She’s lucky to get out alive. This badly knocks her confidence.
Evan is Dora’s best friend. He’s very handsome and very wealthy and he’s been secretly in love with her ever since they met. He sees this as his chance to help her. He ask’s her to marry him on the condition she gives up escorting for good. After some consideration she agrees.
Then Evan has to go away on a business trip to Hong Kong. He wants Dora to come with him but she says no she’ll stay home and start to arrange their wedding. Just after he leaves Dora gets a phone call from a trusted client, Daniel, asking her to accompany him on a weekend to a chateau in France. All she needs to do is pretend to be his girlfriend in front of his group of friends. There would be no sex involved. Dora thinks what harm would it do ? One Last Job.
However, when they get to the chateau, right from the beginning things don’t seem quite right. Odd things start to happen.
Then she comes face to face with a man from her past, someone she’s never ever forgotten, someone that knows everything about her …
Dora is in danger, will she get out of this alive … ?
What a scorcher !!
Dark and twisty as always with loads brilliantly written characters and loads of edge of your seat moments.
Narrated by Dora herself, a character I must admit, I really liked. The book is split into two parts, now and eleven years ago. The book is a really easy read it just flows. I read it in just a over a day, I couldn’t put it down I just really need to know how it all was going to end !
And what and ending it was ! Twist after Twist ! I really didn’t see that coming !
I give this book 10/10 (5 stars )
Published on 07/07/22 by HQ
The biggest Thank you to Adele Parks and the lovely folk at HQ for sending me the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Two women are staying in Willowmead House One of them is running. One of them is hiding. Both of them are lying.
Emily made one bad decision, and now her career could be over. Her family home on the Cornish coast is the only place where she feels safe. But when she arrives, there’s a stranger living with her father. Emily doesn’t trust the beautiful young woman, convinced that she’s telling one lie after another. Soon, Emily becomes obsessed with finding out the truth…
But should some secrets stay buried forever?
What I think :
Midwife Emily Gentle has made a big mistake at work, so big that she decides to leave her job and home in London for a while. She decides to visit her father Harold, in Cornwall, Devon at the family home. Her family home is where she feel the safest so it makes sense for her to go there. Her father needs her as he’s suffering from dementia.
However, when she arrives home she is surprised to be met by a woman called Francoise. Apparently Francoise is her fathers new carer. Emily is more than taken aback with this turn of events.
Why has her father hired a carer ?
And who is Francoise really ?
Is she all that she seems ?
Emily must find out the truth at all costs …
I’m always very excited to be asked to review the next Jane Corry book. I absolutely adore her brilliant crime thrillers. I love all the twisty/turny clues that are hidden throughout the book. It keeps me on the edge of my seat, trying to work out Who-dun-it.
Whilst I really liked this latest novel, I felt it had a different theme from the usual. It doesn’t really feel like a crime thriller, more of a family drama with a bit of suspense thrown in.
Written from the Point-of-views of Emily and Francoise and some diary chapters from Harold from the war in France in the 1940’s, I did at some points find it a little hard to keep up with what was happening as it jumped about a bit. Having said that though, I did enjoy reading the book. There are a few twists to untangle.
As usual there are some very well written and complex characters, and it did keep me wanting to read more.
I give this book 4 stars
Published by Penguin Random House on 23/06/22
The biggest Thank you to Ellie Hudson at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.
FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE
———- ‘It was only a game’… Until a boy went missing.
‘No one was meant to get hurt’… But a body has been found.
‘Just some innocent fun’… Except one of them is a killer.
Ready or not, here I come.
It’s time to play hide and seek again.
What I think :
Ben Draper doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
Then he goes missing …
When a teenage boys body is found twenty-two years later in the disused crypt of a boarding school it turns out that its Ben’s body.
Everybody thought that he had run away from the school after playing a game of hide and seek with the only three friends he had at the school at the time, Lance, Melissa and Callum. Surely though teenagers are a little old for a game of Hide and Seek ??
The headmaster who was at the school when this happened, only seems to care about the reputation of the school not the fact that a boy has been murdered there. Its down to DI Fleet and DS Collins to solve this cold case, and when there are more deaths twenty-two years later, are they connected ?
Told over two timelines, twenty-two years ago with Ben up until his death and with the investigation now, this well paced story hooks you in with its twists and turns. It keeps you guessing right up until the well sown up end.
I really enjoyed Simon’s other books so when I was asked to review this one I jumped at the chance. I really love a crime thriller and this one really fits the bill. I really liked the way the author formed the characters and the easy style that the book is written.
I give this book 5 Stars
Published on 06/05/22 by Penguin Books.
The Biggest Thank you to Ellie Hudson at Penguin books for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.