Witness by Alex Wheatle (Review)

Witness by Alex Wheatle

Blurb

Cornell is having a bad time. Kicked out of secondary school for a fight he didn’t start, he finds himself in a Pupil Referral Unit. Here he makes friends with one of the Sinclair family. You don’t mess with the Sinclairs, and when Ryan Sinclair demands Cornell comes with him to teach another student some respect, Ryan witnesses something that will change his life.

Torn between protecting his family and himself, Cornell has one hell of a decision to make.

Review

Wheatle is another new author for me and one I decided to read because I really like the Quick Reads series. 

I struggled to get into this book at first because it took me a bit to get used to reading the gang slang but once I got used to it I soon got into the book and it took me about an hour to read. 

This book deals with some very real issues and issues you don’t often read about in books but which should be highlighted more. The story was quite emotional in places and you couldn’t help feeling sympathy for all the characters because in a way Cornell and both his parents have good reasons for what they want to do. 

I will be honest the book didn’t wow me but I suspect this was due to the short length of the book. The book was excellently written though and a good read. I will definitely be checking out Wheatle’s full length books because he is a very good writer. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Alex Alphonoso Wheatle MBE (born 3 January 1963) is a British novelist, whose notable works include Brixton Rock, Crongton Knights and Cane Warriors.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Waterstones Challenge: Cheltenham

Hello!

Today I met up with a friend in Cheltenham and got to tick off number 14 off my Waterstones Challenge. My poor challenge has been rather forgotten about because of covid putting a halt to travelling etc but now I am ready to get ticking off a few more Waterstones stores.

I loved the Cheltenham store, it has three floors and the Science Fiction and Fantasy section was fantastic. I also had a question about a book and the staff were so helpful it was brilliant.

I know you are wondering what books I bought, so here is the list.

Quick Reads

Blind Spot by Paula Hawkins

The Cutting Season by M. W. Craven

Darkness Rising by A. A. Dhand

Witness by Alex Whittle

My husband was overjoyed to see these books because they were only £1 each. He said I could have as many as I wanted but sadly there were only four there. I love the Quick Reads books because I find them great introductions to authors I have never read before.

Books

Witherward by Hannah Mathewson

This is my husbands choice but I hope to read it as well as it looks interesting.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This was recommended to me by my niece so I thought I would give it a try.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

This was recommended to me by a member of my family but I can’t remember who. Either way I’m looking forward to reading it as I love a sci-fi read.

Gallant by V. E. Schwab

I bought this purely because I have seen a lot of people reading and talking about it on Bookstagram.

So there is my book haul. I can’t wait to get reading these books.

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books or if you have a favourite Waterstones store.

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Wish You Were Dead by Peter James (Review)

Wish You Were Dead by Peter James

Blurb

Wish You Were Dead is a Quick Read short story from bestselling author Peter James. Roy Grace and his family have left Sussex behind for a week’s holiday in France. The website promised a grand house, but when they arrive the place is very different from the pictures. And it soon becomes clear that their holiday nightmare is only just beginning. An old enemy of Roy, a lowlife criminal he had put behind bars, is now out of jail – and out for revenge. He knows where Roy and his family have gone on holiday. Of course he does. He’s been hacking their emails – and they are in the perfect spot for him to pay Roy back . . . 

Review

I got this book because I saw a review of it on bookstagram and thought it sounded good and I do enjoy the occasional quick read. This is also my first book by Peter James and it will definitely not be my last. 

I flew through this book and not because it was a quick read, I just could not put it down. Detective Roy Grace is on holiday but after a long and arduous drive where his son drives him mad with the constant “are we there yet?” The drive ends with a disappointing location which looks nothing like what was on the website and something more out of a horror film. Grace’s wife wants to leave straight away but there is no way Grace is doing anymore driving. 

The first mystery that faces them is where Jack is. Jack is meant to already be at the house but he isn’t and because of no phone line and no phone signal they have no way of contacting him. However, it soon becomes clear that Jack’s absence is not the only odd thing the family are encountering. Somebody else knows where Grace and his family are on holiday and this person is far from savoury and will soon make an appearance. 

The story moves very quickly which is to be expected due to the book being a quick read but this just added to the tension in my opinion. I really enjoyed this book and will be getting more books about Detective Roy Grace. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Peter James is a UK number one bestselling author, best known for his crime and thriller novels. He is the creator of the much loved detective Roy Grace. His books have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

He has won over forty awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award. Many of his books have been adapted for film, TV and stage. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Too Good To Be True by Ann Cleeves (Review)

Too Good To Be True by Ann Cleeves

About the author

242FE922-2810-4950-A0C6-5F97E7167756

Ann Cleeves was born in 1954 and is an English crime writer. She has won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger and her Vera and Jimmy Perez novels have been dramatised as TV detective series. She currently resides in Whitley Bay.

Blurb

Too Good To Be True is a gripping Quick Read from Ann Cleeves, featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez from the bestselling Shetland series.

When young teacher Anna Blackwell is found dead in her home, the police think her death was suicide or a tragic accident. After all, Stonebridge is a quiet country village in the Scottish Borders, where murders just don’t happen.

But Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez soon arrives from far-away Shetland when his ex-wife, Sarah, asks him to look into the case. The local gossips are saying that her new husband, Tom, was having an affair with Anna. Could Tom have been involved with her death? Sarah refuses to believe it – but needs proof.

Anna had been a teacher. She must have loved kids. Would she kill herself knowing there was nobody to look after her daughter? She had seemed happier than ever before she died. And to Perez, this suggests not suicide, but murder . . .

Review

I love the Quick Reads books and have discovered quite a few authors that I enjoy from reading books from this series and this book is no exception. My parents are massive Ann Cleeves fans but I will be honest I have never read any of her books but looking for a short read for the weekend I came across this book and promptly began reading.

Although this is only a short book and I easily read it in one setting I really liked the character of Jimmy Perez and would love to read more books about this character. He worked out the case brilliantly even though the policeman who was in charge of the case missed some pretty obvious things and really should have had his wrists slapped for his sloppy policing and just jumping to the easiest conclusion. Perez is obviously a deeply caring person who will do anything for family and that was really moving to read about even if it was only hinted at.

The story contains the question of was it a suicide or a murder and Perez is left to work it out but as he is trying to unravel the mystery there is a sinister figure that is clearly watching him.

This story had everything: mystery, suspense, crime and much more. I loved this book and will definitely be reading more by Ann Cleeves, hopefully the parents will allow me to borrow some of their copies. A fantastic short read that I read in one sitting and I highly recommend to all crime fiction fans. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

lady book dragon signature 250w

Star Sullivan by Maeve Binchy (Review)

Star Sullivan by Maeve Binchy

9780752879543

About the author

3532

Maeve Binchy was born on the 28th May 1939 in County Dublin and was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer and journalist. After a short spell as a teacher Binchy became a journalist with the Irish Times, for which she wrote feature articles and columns. Her first novel Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982, and from then she has written more than a dozen novels and short stories. Several of her novels have been adapted for cinema and television. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the British Book Awards in 1999. She sadly passed away in 2012 at the age of 73.

Blurb

Molly Sullivan said that the new baby was a little star. She was no trouble at all and she was always smiling… so she became known as Star.

Star Sullivan just wanted everyone to be happy- her father to stop gambling, her mother not to work so hard, her brother to stay out of trouble, her sister to stop worrying about every little thing she ate. Then Laddy moved in next door – and everything began to change, until Star was no longer the sweet, thoughtful girl everyone loved and no one worried about…

Review

I’ve never read a book by Maeve Binchy and when I saw this in the book pile at church I thought I would give it a try as it was only a quick read of 106 pages. I must admit I read it in one sitting but shouldn’t have started it so late at night because I ended up going to bed at 1am. Not good when you have work in the morning.

I really enjoyed Binchy’s style of writing and I will definitely read more of her books. I liked how real life the story was and how well it all flowed. I also appreciated how Binchy fit a good story into such a short space without the story suffering.

Star, the main character of the book, in my opinion has been let down massively by her family. She is a beautifully kind soul who worries about everyone, she worries so much that she doesn’t notice or care about her own wellbeing. She is very naive and her parents and older siblings do not try to help, teach or really notice the poor girl. Everyone is wrapped up in their own lives and worries that they do not nice Star worrying about everyone else and not growing up herself.

The other element I do not understand in this book is why they turn on her? When I read the blurb I thought it was going to be a typical tale of good girl goes bad because of bad friends etc. However that is not the case, Star still remains her good natured self just trying to help her family and friends.

I also did not understand Laddy at all especially at the end when he turned on Star’s family. The whole thing was rather a mystery to me as was Kenny’s sudden turn of character.

Overall I enjoyed the book and was pleased with the ending, although I was a little confused in places, may be the confusion is just me though. I think Star was very let down by her family and friends but thankfully rose above all this and turned into a mature, hard working adult, who didn’t worry so much about others. I gave this story 3 out 5 Dragons and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a quick little read.

To purchase

Waterstones

Lady Book Dragon

qYIsSnlvS7izQ2jOLVnPWA