Read: Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

daisyI got an e-copy of this book from the publishers for review (via Netgalley).

I was reading Sharon Bolton (S.J. Bolton, as she was then known) when ‘no one’ had even heard of her. She was a great find! I’ve not read all her books, but quite a few.

The publisher says:Famous killers have fan clubs. Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He’s handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he’s innocent, and that he’s the man of their dreams.

Who would join such a club? Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win. Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she’s immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . . Would you?

My view

Lawyer Maggie Rose is more or less stalked by the mother of Hamish Wolfe, a man who is in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, according to the mother. Maggie has no intention to do what the mother wants, which is to represent him and get him out of prison, until she gets a letter from Hamish that piques her curiosity. She goes and visits him but still refuses to be his lawyer. That’s the start of the story.

Before we get to know Maggie Rose well, we hear others gossip about her. And it’s not good. She meddles with everything and is a difficult person to work with. It’s odd, because when we learn more about her, she seems quite a reasonable person, with friends happy to support her all the way.

Hamish is a little odd, too. Although he claims to be innocent, he doesn’t really do much to push this point. He seems OK in prison, and just likes Maggie’s visits as an interruption of the daily grind. So, could he really be innocent? He doesn’t seem to behave that way.

Maggie Rose, whether she wants it or not, gets more and more involved in the Wolfe case. So much so, that her house is broken into, the beginning of a gripping story.

Overall, the book is a good mystery. We learn a few things on the way, and a suspicion slowly creeps in, but until close to the end, it’s hard to grasp it. Then, when the mystery is finally resolved, it suddenly becomes rather unbelievable. At that point, the magic of the book goes, the lights come on and that’s it. I found it hard to accept and I really didn’t like this ending. At all.

So, that was a pity, because the earlier parts of the book were great! I ended this book with mixed feelings.

Books I read before by Sharon BoltonNow You See Me, Sacrifice, Awakening, Dead Scared and probably one or two more.


Read: Lingua Franca by William Thacker

linguaThe publisher, Legend Press, says: “There’s a problem with Barrow, but it can be fixed. You just need to change the name to Birdseye. ‘Birdseye-in-Furness…’

Miles Platting is pulled from the ruins of a shipwreck into a world in which no one will speak to him. The founder of Lingua Franca – a naming rights agency committed to renaming every UK town after a corporate sponsor – Miles recounts the story of his quest for linguistic supremacy to anyone who’ll listen. Confined to his hospital bed in a deathly quiet ward, Miles seeks to find his colleagues and reunite with his true love. But in doing so, Miles must confront his deepest held convictions and consider, ‘what’s in a name?’ in a world where the spoken word has been replaced with silence.”

This was a short, fun read. Miles is on a quest to have each town in the UK named after a brand that would then pay for each town’s upkeep. A kind of sponsorship, so UK towns don’t fall into disrepair any further . What a fun and crazy and scary idea! Would you like to live in Mothercare (rather than Motherwell) or Birdseye rather than Barrow? Miles only sees the advantages but many people around the country are not so charmed by the idea.

The beginning of the book felt a bit like an episode of The Office, where we see Miles deal with daily office life, trying to keep his salespeople happy and efficient. After a tragedy, and a long conversation with his wife – or possibly ex-wife, the way things are going – Miles starts to have doubts about what he and his company are doing. Still, he goes with the flow and attends the naming ceremony of Barrow-in-Furness (to be renamed Birdseye-in-Furness), where things don’t go so smoothly: the townspeople are strongly opposed to the name change.

Somehow, in an unspecified future time, Miles finds himself in a hospital where no one speaks. What happened, we find out in due course. I should mention that it seems an impossible idea for no one in a hospital to speak – imagine a silent operation! Will the patient survive? Does the surgeon have enough hands to carry out the operation and meanwhile signing to the nurse what instrument she wants next? I’m not sure!

Still, it was a fun read, if rather improbable. It could almost be called a post-apocalyptic story, which is one of my favorite genres.



Winner of the giveaway of Blood on Borrowed Wings



The winner of Blood on Borrowed Wings by Darren Stapleton is:

Mary Preston

Congratulations, Mary. I’ll get the book to you as soon as possible.

Everyone else, thanks for entering.

You can find more information about the book HERE.


Read: Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja

Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja Amazon says: “From a wartime brothel to the intricate high society of 1870s Brussels, Under the Poppy is a breakout novel of childhood friends, a love triangle, puppetmasters, and reluctant spies.

Under the Poppy is a brothel owned by Decca and Rupert. Decca is in love with Rupert, but he in turn is in love with her brother, Istvan. When Istvan comes to town, louche puppet troupe in tow, the lines of their age-old desires intersect against a backdrop of approaching war. Hearts are broken when old betrayals and new alliances—not just their own—take shape, as the townsmen seek refuge from the onslaught of history by watching the girls of the Poppy cavort onstage with Istvan’s naughty puppets . . .

Under the Poppy is a vivid, sexy, historical novel that zips along like the best guilty pleasure.”

I got this book from my old (in blogging terms) friend Adam, the Roofbeam Reader. This is one of his favorite books, and I was so pleased to receive a copy – I think I won it in a giveaway on Adam’s blog. It took me a while to start reading it. Recently, I found out that it’s part of a  series, and if it was really that good, I’d be in for a nice time, right?

Unfortunately, I didn’t share Adam’s enthusiasm for the novel. In fact, I didn’t get beyond page 100 or so. I tried, but could not get into the story. To me, the characters weren’t likeable, there was a lot of changing of perspective from one character to the next (annoying and confusing), and the story didn’t grab me either.

Now, that’s odd. I went into this book fully expecting to love it, so the fact that I didn’t love it, couldn’t have been because of me. It had to be the book. But it should be good – it just had to be. I struggled and felt sorry for Adam, for having sent this book to an ungrateful reader who tosses his precious book away like an old rag doll. Not so, but if a book grows on me – in a negative way, where I find out (without trying) more and more I don’t like about the book – it’s time to throw the towel in the ring and hope for better times. The book won’t change, but maybe I will. And then, I’ll try again.



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