Latest Book Reviews

The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer

This book is a cleverly crafted account of a man with schizophrenia. Matthew loses his brother in a freak accident, he lives with tremendous guilt after this happens. Simon, his brother was a child with special needs and the center of the family. Matthew always resented this but now Simon is gone the family find it hard to cope without him.

The aftermath of Simon’s death sees Matthew being homeschooled by his grief-stricken mother. We follow Matthew’s haphazard narrative about his life and are witness to how his schizophrenia begins and when it takes over his life, making him less coherent.

This book is unusual in that the story isn’t told chronologically but still works. As a reader, you care about what happens to Matthew and his family. At times this brutally honest account of schizophrenia is hard reading but you really want things to turnaround and work for Matthew.

A mesmerising book about mental illness and it’s impact on the life of bright and young Matthew Holmes.

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Apple Tree a Yard by Louise Doughty

Yvonne Carmichael has successfully juggled marriage, kids and a career as a geneticist. She works part time at the Beaufort Institute and is a consultant and external examiner for university undergraduates. During the course of a routine day of consulting she has an affair with a man, a mysterious stranger she knows nothing about. They keep their affair covert but when Yvonne is brutally attacked by a colleague the resulting tidal wave sweeps them both along a path that leads then to the Old Bailey where the limits of their relationship is put under strain. Who is responsible for what happened? Do they share blame? Is there an innocent party?

The book starts with Yvonne in court in the witness stand, but then digresses to tell you how she got there. The courtroom drama aspect of this book is thrilling and a fast paced final sprint of this tragic story. The tension and the characters are well written and the central themes of infidelity, betrayal and manipulation are well dealt with. The choices made by the characters are controversial enough to spark any lively book club debate.

A highly polished thriller which is deceptively straightforward until the end.

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Everyone Lies by AD Garrett

There’s a lot going on in this crime procedural thriller, you have the bad guys distributing drugs and pimping out prostitutes, you have the good guys with their back histories, which we will no doubt find out more about in the series. However, even though I am a huge crime thriller plan this didn’t appeal to me as much as it should have. I found myself getting frustrated by the amount of digresses and explanations extraneous to the plot and I had the villain sussed too early. I do enjoy a strong female protagonist and DCI Kate isn’t a bad character at all but I found her interaction with criminologist Nick a tad cloying.

An ok crime thriller, not the best but not the worst I’ve read either.

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Echoes of The Past by Norman Mailer

Tom is about to retire from the police force but before he does a series of cold cases are brought to his attention that could possibly be linked. His daughter meanwhile feels a presence in their old family home. Bridging the gap between crime thriller and the supernatural, this book promised many things but was let down by the poor grammar and spelling mistakes it had throughout. Also I felt there were lose ends that weren’t fully tied up, which is a shame as there aren’t many books that are enthralling in terms of crime as well as spooky.

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