Murder At The Bailey Review

Murder At The Bailey Review | Henry Milner

My review on Murder At The Bailey is a little different to my norm. It’s a different sort of read for me, and while it took me a little while to get into the style and the pacing etc, I found myself wanting to find out how it would end.

Publisher: Biteback Publishing | Date: 2021 | Genre: Crime/General Fiction

Plot: A notorious loan shark is shot dead, in broad daylight, right outside the front doors of the Old Bailey. The killer is arrested at the scene and Adrian Stanford is lined up to take on the toughest defence case of his career. Can he steer his client past the no-nonsense Detective Chief Superintendent ‘Iron-Rod’ Stokes, hell-bent on achieving a murder conviction in his last case before retirement? That’s assuming he can keep his client alive in prison long enough for the trial to go ahead. Can his illustrious defence QC, Patrick ‘The Edge’ Gorman, swerve the case past the acerbic judge known to all as Mack the Knife, whose own resolve is being tested to the limit by an adulterous wife? And why is London underworld numero uno Big Jake Davenport showing such a keen interest in the proceedings?

A wickedly eccentric cast of brilliantly drawn characters populate this daring debut from one of Britain’s top criminal defence lawyers. Dripping with sparkling dialogue and delicious wit, Murder at the Bailey is a masterly picaresque romp through the courtrooms, custody suites and London restaurants graced by the cognoscenti.

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Under The Whispering Door Review

Under The Whispering Door Review | TJ Klune

I’d seen a lot of glowing reviews for this author and couldn’t wait to start reading this one. Hands down, one of my favourite books of the year. It made me laugh; it made me cry (in a heartfelt good way). Check out my review on Under the Whispering Door.

Publisher: Pan MacMillan / Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

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The Necessity of Stars Review

The Necessity of Stars Review | E. Catherine Tobler

I looked back at the synopsis of The Necessity of Stars when I sat down to write this review, and I’m not certain what drew my attention to it. It’s a short book which explodes with a lot of important messages, but I can’t say for sure I understood everything.

Publisher: Neon Hemlock Press| Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Science-Fiction

Plot: Plagued by the creeping loss of her memory, diplomat Bréone Hemmerli continues to negotiate peace in an increasingly climate-devastated world, ensconced in the UN-owned estate Irislands alongside her longtime friend and companion Delphine.

The appearance of the alien Tura in the shadows of Bréone’s garden raises new questions about the world’s decline. Perhaps, together, Tura and Bréone will find a way forward… if only Bréone can remember it.

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Dog Days Review

Dog Days Review | Ericka Waller

I’ve been reading some deep fantasy lately, and wanted a change of pace. I thought Dog Days would be a light-hearted, feel-good sort of book where you’re left with the feeling that everything is right with the world. It didn’t quite work out like that though – check out my review.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Publisher: Random House | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: George is very angry. His wife has upped and died on him, and all he wants to do is sit in his underpants and shout at the cricket. The last thing he needs is his cake-baking neighbour Betty trying to rescue him. And then there’s the dog, a dachshund puppy called Poppy. George doesn’t want a dog – he wants a fight.

Dan is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people – if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. But then comes a therapy session that will change his life.

Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her. But when she is forced to walk the refuge’s fat terrier, Maud, a new life beckons – if she can keep her secret just a while longer…

Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.

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Siri Who Am I Review

Siri, Who Am I? Review | Sam Tschida

Today’s review is on Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida. It’s an interesting premise exploring the idea that technology might know more about our identities than we do, but there were elements (the characterisations, for starters) that meant it didn’t entirely work for me. See what you think!

Publisher: Quirke | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction

Plot: Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.

But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?

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Book Review: The Awful Truth about Sushing Prize by Marco Ocram

The Awful Truth about the Sushing Prize by Marco Ocram

Publisher: Tiny Fox Press

Date: 2019

Genre: Humour

Plot: Should I tell him about Sushing or play dumb?

Sticking in my comfort zone, I played dumb.

Writer Marco Ocram has a secret superpower—whatever he writes actually happens, there and then. Hoping to win the million-dollar Sushing Prize, he uses his powers to write a true-crime thriller, quickly discovering a freakish murder. But Marco has a major problem—he’s a total idiot who can’t see beyond his next sentence. Losing control of his plot and his characters, and breaking all the rules of fiction, Marco writes himself into every kind of trouble, until only the world’s most incredible ending can save his bacon.

Fast, funny, and utterly different, welcome to the weird world of The Awful Truth.

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Four Minutes To Save a Life Review

Four Minutes to Save a Live Review | Anna Stuart

If you’re looking for a heart-felt read that really touches you on an emotional level, you’ve come to the right place. Anna Stuart really captures the human emotion, from the big things to the small. I loved this book – check out my review on Four Minutes to Save a Life.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?

Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.

The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?

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Book Review: In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse

In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse

Author: Stephen Kearse

Title: In the Heat of the Light

Publisher: Kindred Books

Date: 2019

Plot: The book documents the rise and fall of an Atlanta graffiti crew. Set during a brutally hot Atlanta summer, the novel chronicles how each member of the crew reacts to the aftermath of their biggest tag, an audacious defacement of Georgia’s Stone Mountain. As the crew gradually unravels, two FBI agents attempt to untangle the knot of rage and confusion that led to the tag, surveying Atlanta’s underbelly in the process and becoming entangled themselves.

This novel explores the topography of Atlanta in vivid detail, dwelling in the city’s lesser-known corridors and assembling the city’s various ghosts — the Civil War, Jim Crow, the 1996 Olympics, the slum clearance of the 50s, and the Civil Rights Movement — alongside the city’s modern currents — gentrification, Black Lives Matter, traffic, and trap music. Five Atlanta teenagers choose between property and the commons when neither is immediately available to them, a heightened dilemma in this age of mass surveillance and income inequality.

Book review: In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse
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Book Review: Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak

Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak

Author: Kristian Novak

Title: Dark Mother Earth

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Date: 2020

Plot: As a novelist, Matija makes things up for a living. Not yet thirty, he’s written two well-received books. It’s his third that is as big a failure as his private life. Unable to confine his fabrications to fiction, he’s been abandoned by his girlfriend over his lies. But all Matija has is invention. Especially when it comes to his childhood and the death of his father. Whatever happened to Matija as a young boy, he can’t remember. He feels frightened, angry, and responsible…

Now, after years of burying and reinventing his past, Matija must confront it. Longing for connection, he might even win back the love of his life. But discovering the profound fears he has suppressed has its risks. Finally seeing the real world he emerged from could upend it all over again. 

Book review: Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak
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Dark Mother Earth review

Dark Mother Earth Review | Kristian Novak

Any book that has a writer as the protagonist always catches my attention. I love the way lines can be blurred and learning more about how others see the process. While that initially drew my attention to Dark Mother Earth, my review explores how this book is much darker than I expected.

Publisher: AmazonCrossing | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction

Plot: As a novelist, Matija makes things up for a living. Not yet thirty, he’s written two well-received books. It’s his third that is as big a failure as his private life. Unable to confine his fabrications to fiction, he’s been abandoned by his girlfriend over his lies. But all Matija has is invention. Especially when it comes to his childhood and the death of his father. Whatever happened to Matija as a young boy, he can’t remember. He feels frightened, angry, and responsible…

Now, after years of burying and reinventing his past, Matija must confront it. Longing for connection, he might even win back the love of his life. But discovering the profound fears he has suppressed has its risks. Finally seeing the real world he emerged from could upend it all over again. 

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