Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich, following a spate of burglaries. Rumours are swirling that the thief may even live on the street. Instead of festive cheer, the residents are filled with suspicion and dread.
The police have increased their presence on Newbury Street and as Christmas creeps closer, their investigations reveal that everyone has something to hide.
But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open up their hearts and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.
Hayley Webster has written a lovely book with believable characters that the reader roots for. I really enjoyed the fact that ‘One Christmas Night‘ combines a mystery with heartwarming subplots.
As the story went on, I got more and more involved in the lives of these characters. I really admire that Webster manages to move the reader without being overly-sentimental.
Although it’s an easy read, ‘One Christmas Night‘ tackles serious subjects like racism, fraud and coercive control. I haven’t read a book with such a compelling cast of characters since ‘The Casual Vacancy‘.
I couldn’t put ‘One Christmas Night‘ down – it is the perfect festive read.
Forensic psychologist Doctor Alexander Gregory is renowned for being able to uncover whatever secrets lie hidden in the darkest of minds and, very quickly, he finds himself drawn into a murder investigation.
A killer is on the loose in County Mayo, Ireland and panic has taken hold on the rural community. The Garda are running out of time. Despite swearing to follow a quiet life, Gregory finds it impossible to turn down their desperate request for assistance.
Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of L.J. Ross’s DCI Ryan series so it was with some excitement that I picked up ‘Impostor‘, the first book in the Alexander Gregory series.
Despite having insane success with the DCI Ryan series, L.J. Ross has shown she isn’t afraid to take risks by embarking on a new series set in a new location. Ross has clearly done her research into psychological profilers – her portrayal of Gregory demonstrates her depth of knowledge. However, the story doesn’t lose its pace or get bogged down in unnecessary detail. It’s a real skill that Ross has honed – balancing backstory with pace.
The characters in ‘Impostor‘ are well-drawn with hidden depths. Gregory’s backstory is intriguing and I like how Ross manages to create three-dimensional characters who contribute to the narrative throughout.
Setting ‘Impostor‘ in Ireland gives Ross plenty of beautiful scenery to draw on and she does so with aplomb. L.J. Ross uses the countryside to create an atmosphere that contributes to the tense narrative.
As usual, L.J. Ross ensures that the reader is kept guessing until the very end. I was convinced I knew who the perpetrator was, only to be blind-sided by the big reveal.
I’m looking forward to reading ‘Hysteria‘, the next in the series.
Posted in Books, reviews
Tagged atmosphere, backstory, blog, book, characters, location, narrative, pace, reading, research, series, story, tense
Unemployment and bankruptcy have devastated the globe but in America, online store Cloud offers workers paid opportunities as well as homes in their live-work facilities. Spearheaded by a charismatic CEO, Cloud has branded itself as something of a saviour but underneath the supposed wonder of Cloud, something sinister is lurking.
Entrepreneur Paxton never thought he’d be working for the company that ruined his business but compared to what’s left outside, he figures perhaps Cloud isn’t so bad. When he meets fellow Cloud employee Zinnia, Paxton begins to thank his lucky stars but Zinnia has her eyes on another prize: Paxton’s all-access security pass.
As Paxton and Zinnia’s agendas place them on a collision course, they’re about to learn just how far the Cloud will go to make the world a better place.
It’s fairly clear that Rob Hart has written ‘The Warehouse‘ as a comment on a number of multinational corporations and the abuse they visit on their employees as well as small businesses and entrepreneurs who they regard as competition. ‘The Warehouse‘ might be set in a dystopian future but it’s very easy to see how we could get there.
Hart has created a number of characters who are believable and easy to empathise with. I especially respected his ability to write one particularly abhorrent character who works as the perfect metaphor for Cloud.
Weaving the backstory of Cloud, as told by its charming CEO, alongside Zinnia’s and Paxton’s stories ensures that the reader is kept intrigued throughout this story of corporate espionage in a world where everyone has their own agenda.
When a homeless veteran hears something heavy fall into the River Tyne in the middle of an argument between two men, he tries to ignore it. But when he sees a plea from a girl whose dad is missing, Jimmy can’t turn a blind eye anymore. The girl – Carrie – reminds Jimmy of someone from his past and he decides he has to face the truth. Telling Carrie what he thought he heard, Jimmy gets pulled into an investigation which puts his life at risk.
Trevor Wood’s protagonist, Jimmy Mullen, is a truly original character. I love the fact that Wood has tackled stereotypes with characters like Jimmy, Gadge and Deano – they’re truly unforgettable and massively sympathetic despite having complex backgrounds. Wood’s characters are portrayed sensitively and with understanding. I rooted for Jimmy from page one.
Set in Newcastle, ‘The Man on the Street‘ evokes a strong sense of place while drawing the reader into a complex investigation. Having read crime fiction for many years, it’s not often a reveal leaves me speechless but Trevor Wood has managed it!
With engaging characters, strong dialogue and gritty realism, ‘The Man on the Street‘ is utterly compelling. I couldn’t put it down.
When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.
Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.
Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.
But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide . . .
I really enjoyed ‘Clear My Name‘, Paula Daly delves into the world of charities that work to overthrow wrongful convictions. Although these charities are now often in the news, I haven’t read a novel about these groups before. Using Tess to tell the story gives the reader an insight into the difficulties encountered by those involved in these investigations.
The story is fast-paced and I found myself unable to put ‘Clear My Name‘ down. I constantly questioned what could have truly happened to Ella. ‘Clear My Name‘ is a compelling story featuring complex characters. Combined with an original concept, this novel is sure to be a hit.
Happy publication day to Paula Daly – you can get your copy of ‘Clear My Name‘ now. You won’t regret it.
Nanny Anna only takes her eyes off Laurel for a second, thinking Laurel was following her mum through the crowds. But in a heartbeat, Laurel is gone.
Laurel’s parents are frantic. As is Anna. But as the hours pass, and Laurel isn’t found, suspicion grows. Someone knows what happened to Laurel but they’re not telling.
My mum recommended ‘Have You Seen Her‘ to me and I could not put it down. The narrative is simple yet effective, sucking the reader in.
Set in a small village, ‘Have You Seen Her‘ explores the reaction of a community after a child goes missing. Sadly, it seemed an all-too-familiar scenario which added some realism to the story.
Alongside evocative descriptions of place, Hall’s exploration of her characters sets up a great mystery where anyone could be guilty. I thought her descriptions of Laurel’s parents and their relationship were particularly strong.
‘Have You Seen Her‘ is the first of Lisa Hall’s novels that I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last.