Power Struggle by Carolyn Arnold

My Rating: 5 Stars.

Date read: 23/11/17

Date published: 28/11/17

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

One hit man who’s back for revenge.
One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

My review: 

I recently read Arnold's latest book in the Brendan Fisher series and I absolutely loved it. Arnold's work is definitely on par with the top writers in crime and this book was no different. I haven't read the books in this series before and I want to start by saying that I still found this book easy to understand without reading the previous. Arnold does a great job of giving the reader enough information as you read along of how the events in previous books relate to this one. 

This was such a page turner; fast paced and exciting throughout. Although Arnold gives the reader plenty of scene setting from the synopsis, there is so much more packed in there. As Madison works a homicide and has her suspicions on who the killer is, everything that goes on with the other characters, working the ins and outs of the case, keeps you guessing throughout. The almost only constant throughout the book is that Constantine is back; but how, why and what he wants is a complete guess until the end. I had no idea how and where this book was going to go which is what I really love in a great book. I don't to try to guess myself too much, I really enjoy finding out and being led through. The book has a very realistic feel as well; Arden has definitely done her research which is another really great aspect for me. Sometimes, crime books can feel a little bit over the top or unrealistic to follow. 

I really enjoyed the characters in this book as well. They felt very relatable and I did feel a bit sorry for Madison at times. With everything that's going on with her family and friends, she does seem to have quite a tough time of it from them all. It was good to see this side in a police procedural, rather then just getting on with the crimes. 

Overall, this was a great book. I am really hoping to go back and read the other books in the series. Anybody who likes a good police procedural should pick up a book by Arnold. I cannot recommend it enough! 

Happy reading :) 

The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh

My rating: 4 Stars.

Date read: 30/6/17

Date published: 20/8/17

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

The first body comes as a shock

The second brings horror

The third signals the beginning of a nightmare

When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.

Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.

Then another body appears against the Wall. 

And another. 

As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.

Who is the Killer on the Wall?

My review: 

Sometimes I really shouldn't leave my reviews so late. I finished this a few months ago and I sometimes wish I had written a few words to remind me of what I enjoyed and didn't enjoy. This was a really good 'who done it' book. I really had no idea who the killer was until towards the end of the book and it was quite a good twist. I really enjoyed the characters in this book too. I was constantly guessing who the killer was too, sometimes I don't tend do that and just wait until I find out. There were some very shady characters throughout the storyline. There wasn't anything in particular that I really didn't like that in this book other than it wasn't the best book I've ever read. It was better than your average crime thriller however. 

Overall, a very decent read. I enjoyed the premise and waiting to find out who the killer was! 

Happy reading :) 

Stalker by Lars Kepler

My rating: 4 Stars. 

Date finished: 30/7/17

Date published: 5/5/16

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

If the lights are on, a stalker can see you from outside. But if the lights are off, you can't see a stalker who is already inside the house. 

A video-clip is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Department. Someone has secretly filmed a woman through her window from the garden. The next day she is found dead after a frenzied knife-attack. The police receive a second film of another unknown woman. There is no way of identifying her before time runs out. When her husband finds her he is so traumatised that he cleans the whole house and puts her to bed. He may have seen a vital clue, but is in such an extreme state of shock that the police are unable to question him.

My review: 

I really couldn't decide what rating I wanted to give this book at first. Some of the book felt like 3 stars and others felt like 5 stars. The 3 stars part of this book really felt like a let down at points after the 5 star parts too. Some of the descriptions in the book were also way too lengthy and felt like the took away from the great parts. It took me a good 150 pages to get really into the storyline as well, and this is a reasonably long book at over 500 pages. Despite this, the overall storyline and mystery around who the stalker is was really good. Some of the characters were really great as well such as Erik. I wasn't overly keen on the female detective who was investigating the case. This is also suppose to be the fifth book in the Joona Linna series but I didn't feel like it was his series or even one of the actual main characters. I understand wanting to know more about all the characters equally but Linna did play quit a back line in this story. I'm not sure if this is how all the books are as I haven't read them. 

Overall, the storyline was really great. I enjoyed finding out who the stalker was and everything that went with it. Just too much description and nonsense parts throughout the book let this one down a little.

Happy reading :) 

Her by Shelby Lamb

My rating: 3.5 Stars. 

Date finished: 29/9/17

Date published: 1/9/17

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Tinsley had always been a free spirit, until one side of her face and body got badly disfigured in an accident that killed her best friend. She has always blamed herself for Becky’s death, as she had been the one behind the wheel. Now twenty-five, she’s down and out, most of her past friends are married or engaged, and she hardly leaves the house.

Then everything changes when she meets Jax.

Jax is sexy, tall, dark and handsome, and a dream all wrapped in one. He fills her with more hope than she'd ever imagined. But Tinsley is not used to feeling so close to someone and she’s going to need all of Becky’s help to be true to her heart.

Luckily, Becky is all around. She’s in the trees, the grass, the earth. Becky is the only outside love Tinsley’s ever known, and she’s saying it's time to discover something new.

But can and should Tinsley really let go of her?

My Review: 

First off, before I start my review, I really have been completely off the review radar for a few months now haven't I? I have been working shifts lately and haven't had much time for my laptop. Although my reading hasn't stopped, the reviews had. I currently don't have access to internet whilst at work either which makes it a little more difficult to keep up with the world of blogging and reviews as I just want to relax once home! (Hopefully you all get that feeling too!) So, I'm really trying to get back on the wagon and hopefully update more often! 

I have read Shelby's previous book, The Wisteria series, and was looking forward to reading something new/different by the author. I would definitely say that I prefer the Wisteria series. This wasn't a bad start to this series but for me, I felt like certain aspects of the story could have been developed more. This certainly might change once I read the next two episodes however. The storyline is a really good one, and the characters are intriguing. This episode definitely gives a flavour of what is to come and makes you want to read the next episode. My overall feeling however, is that there did need to be more detail and developments. The episodes might have worked better as a proper series with books of more substance, but I cannot be completely certain of that until I've read the next few.

This is also probably the first time I've read a more 'novella' type book and series which could also be a problem for me. I like my books with a lot of depth and of a decent length. I do tend to avoid very short reads. It was kind of nice to just pick something up as a quick read when I had a little spare time, but not something I would make a habit of it!

Overall, a decent start to this 'series'. Hopefully the next one will delve into the story further. I will look at for the next one!

Happy reading :) 

Update on Reviews!

To my valued readers... 

I realise I haven't updated my blog for a little over a month and this isn't because I haven't been doing any reading; because I have! I hope to be updating all my reviews within the next week as I just haven't had the time with work, holiday etc. So thank you to all of you who have been reading my blog and the authors who have and are waiting for reviews on their requests. I hope to start getting back into the habit of updating at the minimum of weekly again very soon! 

Please stay tuned!

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

My rating: 3.5 Stars.

Date finished: 16/6/17

Date published: 24/7/16

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren't just in his head. 

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they've been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they're going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down. 

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

My review: 

I will start off with the positives of this book. It was a nice quick read and can easily be read in a sitting or two. It is not a particularly long book at around 160 pages or so. The beginning part of the book was my favourite part. Trying to figure out was going on with our main character Max, especially when he arrives at a mental institution. All the visions he was getting and the 'links' between the other characters he was getting was really great. As the book progressed however, I felt like it became a little less like something I would normally enjoy or pick up. For some readers however, this shouldn't be something that puts you off as I think a lot of sci-fi type readers will really enjoy this book. I don't dislike sci-fi, I am however quite picky on what I do pick up sci-fi wise and there usually needs to be other elements in the book for me. I wouldn't say this was a slow read either nor was it fast paced, it was quite a general pace for me. The writing was decent too. 

Unfortunately this book wasn't great for me but it wasn't terrible either. The whole visions and the psychiatry stuff at the beginning really had me hooked. Definitely reading other reviews on Goodreads gives me the sense that most will enjoy this!

Overall, a decent read with great elements for me and others not so great.

Happy reading :) 

Just a note on upcoming reviews - I have been falling a little behind due to demands at work and home - I hope to pick up a bit once I have finished my holiday and leave at work in a few weeks! Hopefully I will have a few to catch up on from my holiday's :)

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

My rating: 4 Stars. 

Date finished: 3/6/17

Date published: 20/10/16

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

"Madam Tulip! Actress, fortune-teller, psychic, sleuth!" 

When out-of-work actress Derry O'Donnell moonlights as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip in an English Stately home, she’s trying to make some cash. 
Instead, she is drawn into an alien world of wealth, titled privilege and family secrets. 

A countess once a chorus girl, a gambling earl and his daughters, a cultured and handsome art expert—all caught in a terrifying web of ghastly threats, murder and abduction. As an aristocratic engagement party turns into a nightmare, Derry and her friend Bruce face the prospect of a gruesome and infamous death. 

My review: 

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I was looking forward to getting to pick up the second - thanks again! This is something I probably wouldn't have picked up if I saw this sitting on a shelf in Waterstones; why? Sometimes bright and colourful books make me think it might be some sort of romantic comedy, which is completely not me. However, saying that, this series does need this kind of bright and colourful cover - it wouldn't be the same otherwise! (Please don't take this is a criticism haha). 

What I particularly enjoy about this series is the characters - everytime they all talk I get this proper British snobby voice in my head and I love it. It gives me a little bit of a giggle and I am not a huge fan of comedy - this isn't comedy in the same way however. Poor Derry just constantly has no luck either yet I don't feel overly sorry for her. The goings on at the stately house were really good too; I had no idea who could be sending the Earl packages of body parts until something just clicked at around 75% of the way through the book - I think most readers will certainly catch on too but it still had a few twists that were great. 

I don't have any particular downfalls in this book, the writing is really great too and it is definitely a fast paced sort of read. I think I read this in about three sittings which is just a nice amount. The ending wasn't quite as good as the last one but not something to be put off by - sometimes more of a wrap is what is needed more than a huge cliffhanger. It still makes me want to read the next one. 

Overall, another great book in the series and I am really  hoping there are more - cannot wait to see what other poor luck Derry has going on!

Happy reading :)