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The Lies We Told
Diane Chamberlain
Progress: 124/498 pages

Very well done debut novel

The Visitors - Rebecca Mascull

Time Taken to read - 1 day


The story opens with our main character, Adeliza (Liza) Golding and takes us from the moment she is born up to and throughout her adult life. After birth she describes seeing the visitors, which turn out to be ghosts although she doesn't cover too much detail here. We are then told about how she comes to be deaf and blind and how this affects her behavior as she is growing up. She is angry, aggressive and almost feral in her frustration and loneliness until she is 6 years old and a chance encounter with Lottie changes everything. Lottie teaches Liza how to communicate which impacts upon her quality of life and opens up a new world for her. The book is then focused upon her becoming an adult, the war and how this affects her life and relationships.

The first part of this book moved me, if you have a family member or friend who is blind or deaf I think you may feel the same. Having someone who is so isolated and being helpless to do anything about it, I could appreciate how that must be for Liza's father although that isn't heavily featured in the book. How Lottie manages to change Liza's whole life, with patience and giving her the means to communicate was beautiful. Her experiences and how everything changes through having access to talk to others and seeing the character bloom was just wonderful.

The next part focuses on her interactions as an adult, her character growth, war and the visitors. As a child she meets and is taken with Caleb, Lottie's twin brother. As war is coming he is caught up in that and writes home to Liza and Lottie about what he sees and experiences which takes the novel down a darker path. Whilst the letters gave a stark look at the horrors seen whilst out in the field during war and they were interesting, they were a world away from the style and theme of the beginning of the book. I think some readers may like this contrast however for me I would have preferred it to be delivered maybe in a different format?

The ghost aspect is quite different, Liza isn't sure how she can see them when others cannot. What is the purpose to it, why her? Some questions are answered but not all and whilst this generally irks me when I am reading, I didn't mind the unanswered questions as you discovered answers along with Liza and accept her view point on it all, well I did.

I think this is a well written debut novel and can't describe how, on a personal level, watching the beginning of a new world opening for Lottie warmed me. It was a delight to read and I don't think I have read anything like it before. This writer has so much more to share with the reading world and I hope she continues to write, I will certainly be looking for any new material from her, 4/5 for me this time.

Source: http://www.alwaysreading.net/2014/05/arr-visitors-by-rebecca-mascull.html

ARC - Betrayed by Jacqui Rose

BetrayedBetrayed by Jacqui Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Puslisher - AVON

Pages - 339 (this is an ARC copy and may change to the published version)

Blurb from Goodreads

A gripping story of gangs, drugs, girls and unbreakable bonds. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Mandasue Heller.

She trusted the man she loved. It was the most dangerous things she had ever done …

No one can touch Del Williams – the hardest gangster in Soho. He’s got the monopoly on the drugs, the clubs and the girls – it’d be a mistake to underestimate him. The one person he’d take a bullet for is tough, beautiful Bunny Barker, mother of their daughter Star.

Bunny is determined to shield Star from ‘life’ but Del has a lot of enemies. When a familiar face appears from their past, their family is put into terrible danger. Can Bunny protect Star from the demons of her own past, and her very worst nightmare?

My Review

The book opens in 1990 London, a young girl is looking for her sister in the woods. A horrific event takes place and we see a glimpse of the events that follow. We skip forward to present day, still London and the story picks up from there, seemingly unrelated to the previous chapter however it is all related and linked which becomes clear as the story unfolds. Bunny Barker is our main character, she is a prostitute with her own rules. Her daughter is her number one concern and nothing, not even the man she loves, Del Williams will tell her what she can do. Del is a big face in London, involved in drugs and is a dangerous man. When a young girl goes missing and a body turns up Bunny is forced to look to her past and remember things she would rather have forgotten forever.

This book is a hard read, not because it is badly written in actual fact it is the opposite, it is really well done and pulls you in even though the content is hard to read. Young girls being abused and murdered is always hard to read and when there are pedophiles chucked in to the mix it can make for a tough subject. There of course is the usual mix of violence, deception, sex, drugs, prostitution, secrets, adultery and lies to name just some of the themes within the book.

After the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what happened to the little girl at the beginning of the book. Then as more characters are introduced and brought in, you want to see where their storyline goes and the character development. It reminded me of, I believe it was, Martina Cole's the graft that covered pedophilia themes and this one does too although the whole story isn't about that although it is central to the plot.

The writer creates a very murky dark world, people doing what they have to do to survive and thrive within it. If you like a good crime story and can cope with some of the horrific issues, child murder, prostitution and pedophilia, then you will really like this author. She has her own style but I would certainly group her with the likes of Kimberley Chambers, Martina Cole and Mandasue Heller. I don't think I had read this author before, if I had it was a long time ago however I would read her again and may seek out her other works, 4/5 for me this time. Thanks to Avon publishers and Alexandra Crisp for sending me an ARC copy of this book. Betrayed will be available from all good retailers from the 27th of March, 2014.

Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose

Daphne Montgomery is facing one of the biggest days in her career, trying to convict a member of a white supremacist family. When the verdict is read out, all hell breaks loose and Daphne is threatened. Soon the threat becomes real as Daphne's son is kidnapped, Daphne thinks it is linked to the case but soon discovers this is a lot deeper and everything Daphne has tried to protect, including her life, is at risk.

I remembered small snippets from the previous book and wish I had re read it to be more familiar but it doesn't take away from the actual story. It is fairly fast paced and kicks off at the start of the book, your drawn in quickly. There is quite a bit of graphic violence and murder throughout and also some racy sex scenes so if your easily offended or upset, this one isn't for you. If your already familiar with Karen Rose's work she is true to form and won't disappoint with this tale.

Secrets are laced throughout the book going back to Daphne's childhood, it takes us a while to get there but there is so much going on your never bored. Fast paced, chilling, gruesome, murder and some romance the book has just about everything covered. A really enjoyable read, secrets, chapters are fairly big however there are small short sub chapters throughout so you can dip in and out as you need/ 4/5 for me this time and of course I will continue to keep reading this author and catch up on the back catalogue.

Source: http://www.alwaysreading.net/2013/11/did-you-miss-me-by-karen-rose.html