Friday, 30 October 2015

Blackwater Lake by Maggie James

        A man and a woman are found dead in a local beauty spot but what is the secret 

                                                 they have hidden?

I came across this while searching the kindle free bestsellers list. And I'm really glad I did.

This novella has everything including a well crafted plot and lots and lots of suspense. It had me hooked from the beginning and kept me turning the pages until the end. Free books on Amazon can be pretty hit and miss at times but this one was a hit.

If you want a quick read that has some juicy meat on the bones, give this one a try.

I enjoyed it and will have to check out more from Maggie Jones.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Snow Burn by Joel Arnold

Two teenage boys build an igloo. They have wood for the fire. They have brandy and they have an escaped convict.

This is another great example of how you can find hidden gems at Smashwords.

I downloaded this a while ago but have only just got around to reading it. For a self published short novel it is pretty good. It is well written and the story kept my interest throughout. The characters are well drawn out and I was there in the igloo, freezing my butt off along with the three main characters.

Maybe it ended a bit abruptly and it's a little quirky but for a self published book it was a good read.

I think this is a story that will linger in the back of my mind for a bit and that says a lot. That's what good authors do.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Secret Of Dreams by Yacki Raizizun

     Are dreams simply a biological phenomenon or do they serve 

                                 another spiritual purpose?

I listened to this short book as a Librivox recording on You Tube and it is fascinating. It really makes you think about dreams and their purpose. Maybe dreams are just the result of our brains ticking over as we sleep but what if they serve other purposes?

Fascinating stuff. Librivox recordings normally annoy me but this was okay.


The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

              The coronation of the King is in the morning but he is asleep 

                                      and he won't wake up. 

This is a short novel that has everything. A great plot, excitement, romance and sword fights!

I can't really fault this one. It had me hooked from the beginning and I like the way it is written. You wouldn't think it was written in the late 1800's because it's really accessible and isn't bogged down with wordy language. It doesn't contain a lot of description and I struggled to visualise some scenes towards the end but that's probably my problem and not the Authors.

Overall I can't really give it less than 5 out of 5 because it was a great read.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Haunting Of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A young girl and two others are invited to spend a few nights in a haunted house and soon things start to go bump in the night.

It's easy to understand how this book influenced the likes of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.

In fact it doesn't take long before you stumble across something that King obviously borrowed and slotted directly into his first published novel Carrie. I listened to this as an Audio Book and it is creepy and scary and I'd recommend that you go the whole hog, turn off the lights and listen to it in all it's creepy glory, just like I did.

The writing is delicious but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had actually read a physical copy. I think you lose something when listening to an audio book. It's less personal and you can't beat hearing each character in your head instead of listening to somebody speaking the words for you.

You can't quite beat curling up to a book.

I enjoyed this and it reminded me a little bit of The Turning of The Screw. But I really want to get hold of a paper copy.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

                   'I've just got to get rid of my husband.'

A woman tells everybody at a party that she wants to kill her husband and a few days later she is seen walking into his house and later he is found dead. It sounds like a cut and dried case but of course it isn't. This is Agatha Christie, the Queen of the whodunnit mystery.

This is faultless. Agatha Christie at her best. Again I admit she ran rings around me and I didn't have a clue who the killer was! But the plot is woven so perfectly and cleverly I doubt whether Einstein or Stephen Hawking would have worked it out.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Ordeal By Innocence by Agatha Christie

A man is found guilty of a vicious murder and later dies in prison. But what if he didn't do it? 

And if he didn't, who did?

I haven't read an Agatha Christie for a long time so when I spotted two of her books on a bookshelf at my new place of work, I just knew I had to take them home.

This is a bog standard Christie novel. It has all the ingredients you would expect. A murder, a mystery and lots and lots of suspects. I usually have an inkling who the murderer is and occasionally I guess correctly but this time I had absolutely no chance. Agatha Christie pulls no punches here and weaves a tangled web for the reader to unravel.

If it was left up to me this murder would never have been solved!

Not the best Agatha Christie book that I've read but nowhere near the worst.

Good fun as always


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Twits by Roald Dahl.

It's a long time since I read a book by the fabulous late Roald Dahl. I grew up with his books and I'm sure, alongside many others, he was one of the writers that inspired me to start writing from an early age.

This is funny and quirky and perfect for all children between the ages of 7 and 11. I am a middle aged bloke but still enjoyed it and books like this are a great example of how to write for children. I listened to it on You Tube and it was narrated by a guy called James Murphy. e did a great job but no, I have no idea who he is. I'm sure he's really famous somewhere.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Portobello by Ruth Rendell

Found in Chepstow Villas, a sum of money between eighty and a hundred and sixty pounds. Anybody who has lost such a sum of money should apply to the phone number below.

I started reading this a few years ago and stopped. On returning to it I can understand why. I'd describe it as pedestrian. It isn't badly written and it's pretty easy to read and the characters are well drawn out but there's something vitally missing, A hook. Something to grab hold of the reader by the scruff of the neck.

The problem is that nothing really happens and when something does happen it's about as dramatic as a tripping over a carpet and bumping your head on the sofa. It's 375 pages of an okay story that doesn't really go anywhere.

Not terrible but quite forgettable. 3/5