Tag Archives: book review

Disney Moana Happy Tin Review

The Disney Moana Happy Tin is very happy indeed! It certainly cheered up our rainy sunday afternoon.

disney-moana-happy-tin-emilytealady

We were very lucky to be sent a Moana Happy Tin as part of parragon book buddies. Moana is the new disney film which is out this friday, 25th November.

So, What’s Moana about?

An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

In the Happy Tin there is:

Moana Storybook, Activity Book, Colouring Book, 4 colouring pens, Stickers and a Double-sided Poster.

disney-moana-happy-tin

Nancy loved the tin straight away, she’d seen the trailer for the film at the cinema and was keen to see it, so having the Happy tin had real appeal. She went for the colouring book straight away and began to colour in.

The contents of the tin are of good quality, and the storybook is a paperback with glossy pages. Nancy loved reading the story, and this has got her even more excited about getting to the cinema to watch the film! The age range for the tin is 3-6, and I think the only part of the tin we haven’t really used as yet is the activity book which has puzzles, dot-to-dot, mazes etc within it which are more suited to the upper age range.

The tin is a great gift idea, and the contents are a good size for children and small enough to be able to take with you on car journeys or when out and about and needed some distractions for the kids!

The RRP on the back of the tin is £16.99 which I do think is rather expensive! I have however seen these tins at various shops for around the £5 mark which I think is much more reasonable and would make this a good buy for a christmas gift.

The Disney Moana Happy Tin gets the thumbs up from us!

We were sent the Moana Happy Tin to review as part of Parragon Book Buddies. All Thoughts and Opinions are our own.

One Wish In Manhatten by Mandy Baggot Book Review

As Bookouture Christmas comes into an end, I have a great review to leave you with. This is a lovely, romantic story which is just the Christmas tonic I needed. This a great book if you want a piece of escapism set in the magical city of New York.

IMG_4369

Here’s the blurb:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love

The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.

With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.

But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.

Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count

The Review

Hayley and her daughter Angel go on a Christmas holiday to New York, to stay with Hayley’s brother Dean. They are there for a holiday, but also to fulfil one wish: Angel wants to find her father. Whilst searching for Michel, Hayley meets Oliver Drummond, Billionaire – and her brother’s Boss! Fate means their paths cross and romance is in the air. But Oliver is hiding a secret. Will They get together? Will Angel find her Father?

I was hooked on this book from the moment I started reading! I have been to New York so straight away the idea of going there for Christmas really appealed. I think New York sounds so romantic at Christmas, with the snow and the lights, it is the perfect setting for a Christmas romance! Hayley and Angel are likeable characters, even though at times I did question Hayley’s decisions. Initially, Oliver is a difficult character to like, but you see him develop as the story continues and you start to see a different side to him. The idea of meeting a Billionaire and falling in love is such a fantasy, it was great escapism to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The book has a few twists and turns, and there is also some comedic elements to the story too. Angel is a great character, and I loved her optimism and positivity.

I love the theme of this book about making each moment count. This is definitely something that I have been thinking about recently. Following your dreams and taking chances are just what we need to do in life, there will never be a right time, so why not just go for it now! Hayley definitely lives for the moment, and it made me think that I need to do this a bit too.

This book is exactly what you want a Christmas book to be: Full of romance, wonder, and most of all, a fantastic happy ending!  I thought the story flowed well and it was an easy, relaxing read. It really is a positive, uplifting book and that you can’t help but smile about.

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot is published by Bookouture and is out NOW Via Amazon.

The Author

IMG_0048

Mandy Baggot

Mandy Baggot is an award-winning author of romantic women’s fiction and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. A contributor to writing blogs and short story anthologies, she is also a regular speaker at literary festivals, events and women’s networking groups.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, Corfu and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor and lives in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two children and cats Kravitz and Springsteen.

www.mandybaggot.com

See my Q&A with Mandy Baggot here!

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin Book Review #BookoutureXmas

  

Holly says this is the perfect book to curl up by the fire with, and I totally agree! Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a snowy whirlwind of romance and full of Christmas charm. I was able to read this book by taking part in Bookouture Christmas who provided me with an ebook via Netgalley.

  

Here’s the blurb:

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore … 

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of? 

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year.


The Review

When Penny rents out her annexe, little does she know that romance awaits her. As soon as she meets Henry, there is an instant attraction. However, after having her heart broken 8 years ago, Penny is unsure she wants to take the risk of romance. However Henry, and his daughter Daisy soon become a part of her life. As Christmas gets closer, will they?

I really loved this story, it was charmingly magical and romantic. From the start, I just wanted Henry and Penny to get together. The will they, won’t they scenario grows in tension and you go through ups and downs with the characters, all framed behind a perfect Christmas setting, with snow included. The town of White Bay has a lot of interesting characters, and I can see how Holly was able to write another tale set in the town. There’s a lot of potential here! The book was also surprisingly funny for a romance novel, it was laugh out loud in places which I really loved. I really got to know the characters of Penny and Henry, they were so believable, I felt invested in the story and wanted them to have a happy ending!

It was an easy read, and one I wanted to take my time over with a cuppa. I got totally wrapped up in the story, and that is exactly what you want from a Christmas novel.

I give Christmas at Lilac Cottage 5 out of 5 stars. 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin is published by Bookouture and is out now! Available on Amazon.

The Author

  

Holly Martin

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.

Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now written three books with Bookouture: Fairytale Beginnings, Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes at Silver Cove.

https://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com 

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson #BookoutureXmas

  

 

First of all let me say Welcome to Bookouture Xmas! 

I was thrilled to be able to read an advance copy of Bella’s Christmas  Bake Off from Bookouture via Netgalley as part of the #BookoutureXmas event. Check back each day until 27th October when I will be revealing more book reviews, interviews and guest posts from all the Bookouture Christmassy authors, with added Christmas magic! Check out some of the other blogs taking part and catch them all on twitter: 

  

Back to Bella’s Christmas Bake Off: This is such a lovely, heartwarming story that is just perfect for Christmas! 

  

Here’s the Blurb:

Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER.

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. 

But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 

  

The Review



When Amy’s husband leaves her just before Christmas, she feels like her world has ended. She packs up the Christmas Tree and all the trimmings. Watching her old school friend, Bella, on the television, now a famous celebrity baker, she reminisces about their friendship and what led to them to end their friendship 10 years ago. As Amy watches Bella’s show, she starts to realise the recipes are all her Mothers! Amy then sets the wheels in motion to finally meet with Bella and discuss the events of 10 years ago, with many hilarious events along the way!

I genuinely laughed out loud reading Bella’s Christmas Bake Off. It was a lovely, relaxing read, and one that really cheered me up. It has the perfect recipe of laughter, happiness and a little romance thrown in. It really gave me a Christmassy feel, and I would’ve loved a slice of Christmas Cake to eat along with it!

I liked the fact the book was about friendship, and that even when you haven’t seen a friend for a long time, even years, as soon as you meet them again, it’s like you pick up where you left off! I have so many friends I am not able to see regularly, and I definitely know it’s so easy to get back into the friendship again even after a long time apart. Christmas is a time when we  can meet up with old friends, and traditionally a time when we may try and put the past behind us.

The book talks about all different recipes for christmas, and baking with family at Christmas time. It reminded me that I used to love watching my Mum bake the Christmas cake, and all the exciting Christmas biscuits and mince pies I used to help with. I felt like getting in the kitchen and starting to make one myself.

The book has a few surprises within it, and the plot flowed nicely. I could definitely empathise with Amy, even though her character is a little older than me. The situation that Amy finds herself in, and the issues she faces, I think we can all associate with. Oh, and Cake. We can all empathise with Cake! 

I loved having a glimpse into the life of a TV star and how TV shows are made, we get a behind the scenes look at Bella’s Bake Off and it’s a real eye opener! Makes you wonder what they really get up to on The Great British Bake Off and other shows!

I absolutely loved this book, it is a fab Christmas read and I highly recommend it. I give Bella’s Christmas Bake Off 5 Stars.

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson is published by Bookouture and is released TODAY! Available on Amazon

The Author

  

Sue Watson

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write. After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, Sue signed with Bookouture and has gone on to write four fabulous books.

www.suewatsonbooks.com

Check back tomorrow for a fabulous Christmas recipe by Bella Herself! 
  

What I’ve Read: September

I have been a bad book blogger. In that, I haven’t blogged anything booky for a really long time. I suddenly hit a reading block, and I just couldn’t budge it for a while. I didn’t read anything for a long time. Life got in the way a bit, which was a bit of a first. I also broke my kindle for a while, which really did mess up my reading schedule. I just checked and I haven’t written a review since MAY! seriously, where does the time go?! I am ready to get reading again and start reviewing books as usual. 

In 4 months I only read 3 books, which is pathetic but mostly due to the issues highlighted above, and the biggest one being my kindle broke. Anyway, here’s a super quick recap of what I have read over the Summer:

I finished reading Cesca Major’s Silent Hours, a brilliant novel based on true events set in France in World War Two. It was a great read, and has an ending which left me a little speechless. Go and read it!

The Wrong Knickers by Bryony Gordon – I really enjoyed this book, about Bryony as a young woman about London. It was so entertaining and I laughed out loud quite a bit. Many aspects reminded me of myself as I have grown up. 

First One Missing By Tammy Cohen- This is a chilling thriller set around the deaths of 4 young girls and how their families cope as the Police continue to search for their killer. A good twist at the end.

Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon I am afraid I started to read this, but I had to give up, because it was like sticking bubblegum in my eyes….I will try and return it it though.

I am currently reading:

All the Light we Cannot See – Anthony Doer

To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

So this is a little catch up post but I am going to make it my misison from now on to read more and review more. So watch this space!

  

Secrets of The River by Jess McGlynn Book Review

Secrets of The River is the debut novel of blogger Jess McGlynn. Jess very kindly sent me an ebook version of her book in order for me to undertake a review.

  

Here’s the Blurb:

Some secrets simply can’t remain hidden… 

When Isabelle moves to a sleepy riverside village in France she thinks she is being given a second chance. 
Keen to leave behind the secrets of her past, she throws herself into village life where she meets cute American journalist Ed, rugged vineyard worker Matteo, and the dark and mysterious Hugo. 
Life should be good, but Isabelle’s arrival acts as a catalyst in the village and she soon discovers she isn’t the only one trying to escape her past and that sometimes there are things which simply can’t remain hidden. 
Isabelle must face her mistakes and rediscover herself in this wonderful romance set against an idyllic backdrop.

I really enjoyed this book. Set in France, it has a very relaxed, holiday feel to it and if you have ever been to France before then you will be able to picture the kind of village that Secrets of The River is set in. It’s the sort of place I’d just love to pack up my things and go and live, far away from the city. We meet Isabelle, just arriving in France after leaving the UK in tragic circumstances. Isabelle is hiding a secret surrounding these events and is trying to move on with her life. She goes to stay with her Sister and her family, but soon realises that things are not all as they seem within the village. 

Many people in the village have secrets or have run from their own past. She meets various characters of the village, such as Matteo, who works for Eric her brother in law, Rose, a young student and American Ed who is in France to write a historical article (or is he?) and Hugo, a tall, brooding man who is friends with Eric, her brother in law and whom Isabelle instantly has a connection with. One could say that the characters can at times feel a little stereotypical but I find you can relate to these characters given the situations they are in and also you warm to them pretty quickly. Characters like Hugo made me want to find out more about him and also what he was hiding. The way the characters and their stories interlink and run parallel make this story very readable and also interesting, you are keen to find out more and try and piece the mysteries together. Coupled with this is the romantic themes that run through the novel, a will they/won’t they which you hope will be positive! The story is told from various points of view, mainly from Isabelle but the dialogue can switch to another’s point of view half way through the page. This can get slightly confusing at times but generally I didn’t find this an issue. 

The story moves along at a relaxed pace but things do quicken up towards the end. Secrets are revealed and mysteries are solved. The nice thing about this book is that it had some twists that were not easily identifiable and  keep you guessing right till the end. The ending was lovely, just what I hoped it would be and put a smile on my face – what more could you want! I hope this isn’t the last we have seen of these characters, and I look forward to reading more from Jess in the future. 

I rated Secrets of the River 4 out of 5 stars.

Secrets of the River by Jess McGlynn is published by Jess McGlynn and is out now. 

Evil Games by Angela Marsons Book Review

A thrilling, tense page turner, this second book in the Kim Stone series doesn’t disappoint….

I received an eBook copy of Evil Games via NetGalley

  
Here’s the Blurb:

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. 

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. 

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal. 

The rising star of the British thriller scene returns with a novel that enthrall fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham. 

The second book in the Kim Stone series, this book packs a punch from the word go. It’s gritty, realistic and at times uncomfortable reading. The crimes are evil indeed as we are taken on a journey through the mind of a sociopath who is intent on completing their experiment which play upon the emotions of vulnerable people. 

Kim Stone is still fighting her own demons as well as solving cases with her team. We meet her again as she is solving her latest crime,a child abuse case.  As well as tying up these loose ends, Kim starts to unravel the mystery around a spate of vengeful murders, meeting someone who is also going to challenge her very self in the process.

I loved this book, it gripped me from the very start and I just wanted to find out more. I liked the way I really couldn’t see how things were going to pan out initially, and this kept me reading. I have really warmed to Kim’s character and I also love her team. They are real characters as well as instruments within the plot, and it makes everything much more realistic. There are twists and turns within the plot and many times I was wrong and fell for red herrings. 

The previous book, Silent Scream was a heavy case, but this case was darker, and at times I felt like I had to take a breather as I wasn’t sure what was coming next! I really felt for some of the victims in this story, and by victims I do not only mean those who died. This story really stays with you and gets you thinking. 

This was an intense, psychological thriller which keeps the pace going and the ending is such an explosive finale. This case pushes Kim to the brink and for a moment you really do wonder how this will end. I think this story also pushes you as a reader and makes you confront some topics and ethical questions. The ending also added an extra twist which I didn’t see coming and really hits you. I can’t wait to hear more from Kim as this series is really building up to be something fantastic. 

I rated Evil Games by Angela Marsons 5 out of 5 stars. 

Evil Games by Angela Marsons is published by Bookouture and is out today,  29th May. 

  

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton Book Review

A tense psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, this is great read…

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley

image

Here’s the Blurb:

What’s the worst thing your best friend could do to you?

Admittedly, it wasn’t murder. A moment’s carelessness, a tragic accident – and two children are dead. Yours.

Living in a small island community, you can’t escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you’ve lost – your family, your future, your sanity.

How long before revenge becomes irresistible?

With no reason to go on living, why shouldn’t you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?

So now, what’s the worst thing you can do to your best friend?


This book was really refreshing and engaging, it took a terrible situation and turned it on it’s head. We initially see the events unfolding from the point of view of Catrin, the mother of the children who have died. Her life has been changed dramatically since her children died and her sole focus when we meet her is revenge. We also see things from 2 other characters views. Whilst struggling to deal with the past, Catrin becomes involved in the Islands latest missing child case. Is something sinister happening on the Island?

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the location of the Falkland Islands, so remote and cut off from most of civilisation and the village gossip culture that the story is built upon. I liked the way this book challenges you as a reader to think how you would think and feel in this circumstance; what would you do if your best friend killed your children? It pushes you as a reader, and I loved the way the book told its story from three different points of view. The pieces of the story slot into place as you read along, and little clues are slipped into the storyline along the way. The different points of view on the same events make you question everything. I was gripped throughout, the book is a real page turner, it keeps up the suspense and also keeps you guessing. The ending is chilling and really did send tingles down my spine – I didn’t see it coming. I felt this book was taking me in one direction then half way through you realise that this book is so much more than that.

The characters are life like and believable; there are some usual steretypical characters in there but they fit in with the village life and we can all relate to those sorts of characters. I liked the main characters and felt invested in their story. Catrin is a complex character and initially we just see things from her point of view. We hear from many of the other characters but Rachel, Catrin’s best friend (and the reason her children died) is absent for a good two thirds of the book. She becomes a bit of an enigma, you start to think a certain way but when we finally meet Rachel you have to reevaluate everything again! This book is so very clever in this way and this is what keeps you reading.

I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to give anything away but if you love a crime thriller then this book is for you! It’s a great, easy read and I just couldn’t put it down.

I give Little Black Lies 4 out of 5 stars.

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton is published by Transworld and is released on July 2nd.

Secrets of the Tower by Debbie Rix Book Review

I love a historical fiction novel, I am a big fan of Kate Mosse so was really looking forward to this book, set in Pisa and spanning the centuries.

I reviewed an ebook copy via Netgalley

Here’s the Blurb:
51RAaK32lyL

Two women, centuries apart, bound together by the secrets of one of the most iconic buildings ever created. Pisa, 1999 Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children, she must care for Michael who is recovering from a stroke. A man she loves deeply. A man who has been unfaithful to her. Alone and in need of distraction, Sam decides to pick up Michael’s research into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Immersing herself in the ancient city, she begins to piece together the mystery behind the creation of the Tower, and discovers the woman that history forgot… Pisa, 1171 Berta di Bernardo, the wife of a rich merchant, sits in her chamber, dressing for a dinner party. A gathering that will change the course of her life and that of a young master mason, Gerardo, forever. A strong, intelligent woman, Berta’s passion for architecture draws her closer to Gerardo. As she embarks on a love affair, her maid Aurelia also becomes spellbound by the same man. Yet for Berta, her heart’s desire is to see the Tower built, and her determination knows no bounds… A richly drawn and absorbing novel of passion and power, love and redemption that will captivate fans of Victoria Hislop, Tracy Chevalier and Kate Furnivall.

The book starts off well, and the pace is nice and lesiurely. We see Sam start to uncover secrets of the past, relating to the Leaning Tower and when it was built. We also see alongside this the story of Berta, who is the lady who funded the building of the Tower. But it is a mystery who she is and why she wanted the Tower built.

I really enjoyed the first half of this story, reading the background of the Leaning Tower and the developing relationship between Berta and Gerardo. I was less interested in Sam’s side of the story, if I am truthful, however the first half of the book I was waiting for her to find out some secrets and start to delve into the past. Her relationship with her Husband is strained and she finds help in the form of Dario, an italian reporter.

I enjoyed this book but I did feel like the story could have been developed a bit more. I didn’t really feel there was a link between the two stories – I think his would have been interesting for the reader, as when I was reading I was wondering whether there was any relevance or mirroring of the stories between the ages. I was also slightly disappointed that the Dario storyline never really took off, and I felt a little disappointed in Sam’s ending in the book. I found some of the story a little repetitive – espeically regarding the Berta/Gerardo/Aurelia storyline – Gerardo seems to consider how much he cares/love each of them frequently throughout the book. Character wise, I felt the past characters were much better developed than the ‘modern day’ ones, I was hooked into reading what happened next in the past, and I wanted to hurry through the ‘Sam’ parts. I think this book could have been a great book without the modern day element, to be honest.

I did enjoy reading this book, but as I found only really half of the novel particularly interesting, I am giving the book 3.5 stars. I did like the tone and pace of the book, however and I will definetely look out for more books from Debbie in the future.

Secrets of The Tower by Debbie Rix is published by Bookouture and is out now.

IMG_3772-0.PNG

 

Normal by Graeme Cameron Book Review

A Very readable, original book and a great twist in the serial killer genre

I recieved a copy of this book via Netgalley.
51DkfsWV7lL

Here’s the Blurb:

He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden.

He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage.

The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will – one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

But this time it’s different…

This is such a strange book. The first half of this book is chilling, you are reading a sort of fly on the wall. It is kind of voyeuristic, seeing what the life of this serial killer is. The pace is quick and at times I had to re-read pages as I couldn’t believe what I had read, or I had missed a vital word. Another weird thing – it is quite humourous, in a dark comedy kind of way. The narrator (we never find out his name or what he looks like) makes everything seem so….normal. You get to know and almost like this character, whilst there are flashes in between where you just feel pure horror and wonder at what he may do next.

Events twist and turn and we see this killer’s ‘normal’ start to spin out of control. He kidnaps a girl called Ericka, and what starts off as usual (for him) is anything but. The second half of the book he also starts to have a crisis of conscience, which also causes him many issues. It is hard to explain his book without giving away the whole plot, but the more you read, the less frightening this person becomes and the more intruiged you are. You are almost willing this guy to get away with murder.

You get some insight into his past, and this starts to paint a picture but you never find out enough to really answer many questions. I also felt very confused as to what exactly this guy did as a serial killer, his motive, his way of killing. He didn’t appear to be like the serial killers you read of in the news or in other papers. But hey, I’m no crimminologist! It was just what I thought as I read the book.

The characters in the book are all very strong. It is interesting that as a serial killer of women, there are four main female characters in the book and they are all very strong characters. In fact, he is surrounded by women. I liked the characters and their influence on the main character; Annie and Ericka in particular. I liked the way these characters develop, and are not quite what they seem, initially.

As I have said, the book twists and turns and the pace is quick, there is always something else happening and I felt like I had to keep up. It wasn’t a boring read, although I would say that it is one that I felt I had to put down at times, it really felt a bit warped and some descriptions made me feel a little queasy. However it is a really original read, a great twist on the serial killer genre, and very readable.

I give Normal by Graeme Cameron 4 out of 5 stars.

Normal by Graeme Cameron is published by Harlequin UK and is out to buy now.

IMG_3772-0.PNG