‘No Turning Back’ by Sam Blake – mini-review

I really enjoyed this book about Detective Garda Cathy Connolly. It’s a part of a series, so to get the most from it, I’d definitely read ‘Little Bones’ and ‘In Deep Water’
From the opening quote “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!” from Walter Scott’s, ‘Marmion’ I was hooked!

The story begins with a prologue set late at night as a woman hurries along a icy coastal path overlooking Dublin Bay; she is set to met someone she needs help from, however this soon becomes the next crime to investigate for Connolly and her Detective Inspector, Dawson O’Rourke. Cathy and Dawson were partners previously and now through promotions have different roles, but their personal relationship in this book develops; it’s been a underscore in the previous two and more built on a strong respect and friendship.
I enjoy both the character of Connolly and O’Rourke; they work well as a team and their developing personal relationship is also engaging. The central story works well and explores how two deaths in different places on the same night are connected, some solid plot twists and I really enjoyed the read.

I’ll eagerly look out for the next in the series. An engaging, well-plotted and character driven crime novel.

‘The Darkness Around Her’ by Neil White

I really enjoyed ‘The Darkness Around Her’ by Neil White, the second book in the Dan Grant and Jayne Brett series. This can be read as a standalone, but as always to get the most out of the relationships, I’d recommend starting with ‘From the Shadows’, the first in the series.
Dan Grant is a lawyer and for his cases he uses a previous client, Jayne Brett, as an investigator. Brett comes with a lot of ‘baggage’ from a previously destructive relationship and a murder charge; she is still coming to terms with the aftermath and this impinges on her working and developing personal relationship with Dan Grant . Grant is a solid character and really likeable, so together they make a great team to follow on their new cases.
In this book, the crime centres around a young woman who is found murdered and Dan is tasked with representing her alleged killer. However, this case is far more complex than first perceived. I really enjoyed the development of the case and the uncovering of other deaths and missing people. Great writing; a brilliantly paced and thoroughly engaging crime novel culminating in a tense and dramatic ending. Can’t wait for the next book.

March Wrap-Up

Physical Books

March was a busy reading month for me, particularly as I tried to reduce my Netgalley reads. So, out of the books I read, I have some clear favourites and my summary statements are below. (Summary only, as I read 22 books and some are reviewed in more detail in other blog posts and some have full reviews to come):

‘Hell Bay’ – 4 star. Loved it, a cracking start to a new crime series by Kate Rhodes.

‘Blackberry & Wild Rose’ – 4 star read from Sonia Velton, a fascinating glimpse into the silk trade in London’s Spittle-fields and a drama or two along the way!

‘The Hating Game’ – 3/4 star, an easy to read bit of cheeky light entertainment – gave me a chuckle or two along the way, thanks to author Sally Thorne !

‘The Familiars’ – 4 star, if you want to head back in time and immerse yourself in hypocrisy and witchcraft then this’ll do. Based on real people, places and events. Well researched and executed novel by Stacey Halls.

‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ – 5 stars from me for Taylor Jenkins Reid, loved everything about this one. All written as interviews and the story emerges from different accounts and perspectives.

‘The Murder of Harriet Monckton’ – 5 stars, I was fascinated by this book, based on a true crime and carries an important message about lost, forgotten voices. A great accomplishment by Elizabeth Haynes.

‘Soulless 1 & 2’ – 3.5 stars, fun graphic novel interpretation of the Soulless series of novels by Alexia Tarabotti concerning vampires, werewolves and parasols, adapted by Gail Carriger.

‘The Cheater’s Game’ – 3.5 stars, the continuation of ‘The Watchmaker’s Daughter’ series by C.J. Archer. This one is about magic, murder and a visiting Wild West Show.

‘The Night Raven’ – 3 stars, couldn’t get into this one, but a great idea from writer Sarah Painter. Waring magical families, ghosts and missing people dominate the story.

‘From the Shadows’ 4.5 read from Neil White. A fast paced, well plotted and character driven thriller. Great read.

Kindle reads & Netgalley

‘Cruel Acts’ – 5 star, my most anticipated read this year from a favourite crime author, Jane Casey. Loved it! Desperate for book 9 now!

‘Sleep’ – 4.5 nearly 5! I read this during a storm, which was creepy! Really enjoyed this one; my first C.L. Taylor read – looking out for more!

‘A Dangerous Collaboration’ 4 stars, Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mystery books are always enjoyable – fun, light-hearted escapism with a dash of romance, and a nicely plotted mystery.

‘Final Betrayal’ – 4 stars, I’m a fan of Patricia Gibney’s Lottie Parker crime books and this one was a cracker of a read! Great stuff!

‘They Call me the Cat Lady’ – 4 stars, and I thought this was great! Had to use up several tissues and ended giving me a huge smile for the rest of the day. Nicely written book by Amy Miller.

‘King of Fools’ – 3 stars, this Amanda Foody (middle book in a trilogy) novel, fell somewhat flat for me. Still thinking about it, might have to re-read the actual print version when it comes out, before a final rating.

‘Stepsister’ – 4 stars, a new style for Jennifer Donnelly and a twist of a beloved fairy tale. Some creepy overtones and loved the cinematic style.

‘The Girl from the Sea’ – 4 stars, a one sitting read, in this tense mystery thriller of lost memories and murder from Shalini Boland.

‘The Almanack’ – 3.5 stars, some great ideas and execution but it didn’t grip me. Suspicion and prejudice in a small village surround this mystery romance by Martine Bailey.

‘The Dancing Girls’ – 2.5 stars at the end, because of the end – really really didn’t like the outcome of this book. Sorry M.M. Chouinard but I couldn’t accept the events – too far reached for me.

‘In the Night Wood’ – 4 stars, this Dale Bailey novel worked for me; mixing the gothic setting of the house in the woods with an exploration of grief.