A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci

A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci is the second book that features FBI agent Atlee Pine. This novel follows Agent Pine as she tried to find out what happened one fateful night when she was 6 years old and her twin sister Mercy was taken and Pine herself was left for dead. When she oversteps her mark on an arrest she is given a leave of absence which she uses as a perfect opportunity to try to figure out what actually happened all those years ago.

A Minute to Midnight

I picked this book up when I was browsing one day and it caught my eye immediately, I love investigative books and this one seemed to be one that I would like. Upon reading my initial thoughts were correct.

I feel that as soon as I began reading I was gripped on the story and wanted to find out what happened to Pine and her sister. In the beginning of the book we find out Pine is visiting a criminal in a Colorado maximum security prison who she beleives knows something about what happens and he plays mind games with her which proves to be frustrating to Pine. I thought this was an interesting way to begin. As Pine already believes she has found someone who knows something the book takes off from there and with Pine being given leave of absence brings an opportunity for us to follow her journey to the truth.

As she delves back into her past her memory of that night are hazy but she meets up with people who knew her parents and family or lived in the area at the time. She uncovers shocking surprises and secrets which makes her question her parents and her own past. What did she really know about her family?

As all of this goes on a string of murders begin to occur in her hometown which as an FBI agent she helps out with. It makes you as the reader think about whether the current crimes were connected to those of the past.

Atlee Pine is a strong female FBI Agent who I found was a character I wanted to stay with and was likeable. You want to help her find the truth and seeing the main lead of the book as a female FBI agent was great! as Pine reflects on her memories of the event that lead to her sister being taken you want to help her to find the truth. The book shows how she has never really gotten over what happened that night and not knowing what happened to her twin sister was affecting her. This book allows insight into why Pine is the agent she is today!

I found this book an easy read in the sense that the book made me want to turn the pages. I wanted to find out what happened on the next page and chapter! It was a thriller full of great twists and turns which proved to be a compulsive read. The first in the Atlee Pine books, Long Road to Mercy, is for sure on my to read list after reading this! (although I would say I didn’t find I was missing anything huge without reading in the correct order but I would recommend doing so!)

I found Baldacci writing to be engaging and easy to comprehend. With a book about discovering something that happened in the past it can sometimes become a confusing read with different timelines and tenses but this book never had that problem! I like that the chapters were not too big and allowed me to see progress clearly.

I would recommend this book for sure, especially to those who like a book with twists, turns, investigations and crime!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

Codename Villanelle

Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

The first installment of Luke Jennings Killing Eve series introduces us to one of the world’s most skilled assassin’s, Villanelle. Villanelle is a codename for the assassin who lives a luxurious life thanks to her special skills murdering the worlds richest and most powerful. Eve Polastri is a former MI6 operative who is hired to track and find the assassin responsible for the murder of an influential Russian politition. Eve lives a quiet and fairly unextraordinary life accepts the job and her life changes forever as a game of cat and mouse plays out between Villanelle and Eve.

This book is the basis of the hit TV series of the same name; Killing Eve. If I’m being honest I feel as though the TV series was actually better than the book and this surprised me. Don’t get me wrong I liked the book but it didn’t seem to provide the same sort of tension or excitement as the TV series and I usually find it the opposite.

I didn’t feel as though I was on the edge of my seat the same as other novels I have read and maybe it was because I have already seen the TV show (definitely did it in the wrong order) I felt as though I had no input on the characters.

I like the characters of the book and feel they are really interesting however I do feel they have some flaws. Villanelle is described as someone who cares for no-one and only mimics feelings yet she has a companian throughout.

The end of the book I found frustrating and that’s only because I don’t particularly like big cliffhangers which this book definitely has. That is completely a personal opinion and some people really like the tension of a cliffhanger but I just get annoyed.

Overall, I think that the book was good but I did prefer the TV series.

Many thanks, Caitlin X

Song of the Dead, Douglas Lindsay

Song of the Dead by Douglas Lindsay is a crime fiction novel that is the first installment of the DI Westphall series. It follows DI Westphall as he investigates a strange case. What happens when a man who died 12 years ago walks into a police station in Estonia? As the case unravels DI Westphall begins to realize the amount of secrets that led to this mysterious case.

The book is set in the Scottish Highlands and features scenes in various places around Scotland and in Estonia. I enjoy reading books that are set in Scotland as I often feel I can relate to them more being Scottish myself.

The idea of someone who was declared dead 12 years prior walks into an Estonian police station with only half his organs seems unbelievable but Douglas Lindsay writes it in such a way that it is completely plausible. The book is structured well with fairly short chapters which I prefer to huge long sections!

I enjoyed this book and I would like to read the next one. I felt the characters were likable and the main Character being realistic. DI Westphall seems to live in the land of the living and the dead but this seems normal for him. He used to work for the Secret Service but due to a fear of flying he decided to leave and work as a DI in Scotland. I ofund this fear to be a good part of the character as often in crime novels the policeman is portrayed to be this intelligent, brave man that is scared of nothing. This help to make him seem more human and real.

The book makes you think about possible connections and outcomes of the case alongside DI Westphall and I believe that this therefore engages you in the book. You want to read on and find out exactly what happened all those years ago. I found the book quite atmospheric even although it is a crime fiction novel.

There is a good balance between the investigation and the characters which I really enjoyed as I could learn more about the case whilst becoming invested in the characters themselves.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book especially if you enjoy reading crime fiction. It is gripping and immersive and keeps you reading till you have finished the book. I am definatly putting the secong installment on my ‘To Be Read’ list!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment if you have ever read this book or have any other crime fiction recommendations)

Book Haul

I recently took a trip to the book shop and bought some more books!

The first book I picked up was ‘Perfect Crime’ by Helen Fields. I already knew that I wanted this one as I love the series. It is the latest book in the DI Callanach series and if you have read my previous books you know I love this series. It follows Callanach and Turner as they investigate a crime and search for the perpetrator across Edinburgh.

The second book I picked up was ‘I’ll be gone in dark’ by Michelle McNamara. It is a true crime novel that follows one woman’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer. I picked this up so I could explore another genre which I imagine I will like!

The last book I bought was ‘The book of Hidden Things’ by Francesco Dimitri. This author is well known but tends to write in his native language and this was debit novel that was written in English. This looks at 4 Friends who make a pack to meet up once a year at the same spot , when one of them doesn’t turn up they try to figure what has happened. Whilst they do this they uncover many secret things.

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(PS please comment if you have ever read any of these books)

Printable Bookmark

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Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have used this bookmark or have one to share !

My opinion of non-fiction books

Personally I don’t read much non-fiction but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it.

Source: Book Riot

Non-fiction as a genre is huge and has many variety of types. For example, autobiography, encyclopedia, teaching and learning material etc. The list goes on.

I like to read non fiction however unless it is one I really want to read, I often don’t enjoy it as much as a fictional book.

I like autobiographies as they give you an insight into another life, let’s you see what the life of a celebrity is. I particularly enjoyed reading Amy Poehler book as it was honest and blunt. I also really want to read Jenna Fischer Book: the acting life. I am a fan of her as an actor and intrigues to see what she says about her profession.

Non fiction is also a great way to teach and learn whether that be in a class environment or as a passtime at home.

I really should read more non-fiction!

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(Ps please comment your opinion of non fiction or you favourite non fiction book!?

‘The Melody’ by Jim Crace

The Melody by Jim Crace is a tender psychological fiction novel which features music, celebrity, intrigue and lost love.

In all honesty, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book and I lost interest for a bit. It was a very atmoshperic book but not much seemed to happen that kept me engaged. There was the mystery of the creature that attacked Busi however that seemed to be in tha background. Maybe it is just because i tend to liek books with a lot going on but I felt even for a book with a subtle storyline it was a little boring.

I felt that the characters where not really explored. We got an insight into Alfred Busi which was good however it didn’t go into as much depth as I would have enjoyed. Yet again this is personal and could be purely because of the first things I look for is characterization. The other characters such as his sister in law and her son were good but again not thoroughly explored. I also didn’t fully understand the two characers at the end of the book, Lex and Busi tennant. i don’t quite understand the relevance.

Yet again this is all personal and I have read reviews of people you have really liked this book for its whimsical and how it looks at loss and mortality. I would definatly recommend that you should read more reviews before deciding whether you want to read this book as I am only one opinion.

I think I may not have connected with this book as well as some of those who have left much better reviews. I wasn’t the biggest fan but that doesn’t mean that you will not so I would one hundred percent recommend to read other reviews to gauge whether you would like it!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or would like to)

Long or short books?

When it comes to books the length often is a deal breaker on whether to buy it.

Personally I prefer shorter books so that I can read it in a shorter period of time and have the chance to read another. I feel that when I read a longer one I tend to lose interest at some point.

If I were to read a longer book it would have to have shorter chapters or sections. I find this helps to motivate me to read as I can set myself goals.

Some people however much prefer to read longer books as there can be more depth or subplots. It may take more time to explore a character or storyline. You can also feel more invested in the book if you are reading it for longer.

It is a completely personal thing and you can discuss your opinion in the comments !

Many thanks Caitlin X

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion)

The Oldest Book I Own

When it comes to your bookshelf you gave a vast array of books from different times and places. I thought that I would have a look at my own bookshelf and see what the oldest book I own is.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is that book. I believe that it was my mum’s when she was younger and she always loved it and I was given it to enjoy just the same. I haven’t read this book in a long time and I’m not sure I have even read it the whole way through but even though that is the case I still love it.

You can tell it was loved with the slightly scruffy corners and the evident use through the pages. I personally believe that this adds character to the book and gives me a visual to how it was loved.

The book was first published is 1976 and this copy in 1977

This copy is also fairly unique, as the from and back cover is upside down to the text.


My mum always said that it looked bizarre and as if she was reading the book upside down which I like. I think it adds another quality to the book.

I will one day finally get round to reading the full book and maybe even trick down people with the upside down cover.

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(PS please comment the oldest book that you own)

The Title of a Book

The title of the book is one of the very first things you look at when you pick one up so therefore it is important for it to be a good one!

Here’s a few tips to a great title!

  • It has to fit with the story and give an essence of what the book is about. It has to show the essence of the book so that reader’s will know what they are buying and whether they will want to buy it.
  • It has to attract reader’s. It has to be able to make someone want to pick it up and read it.
  • Concise. It can often help to have a shorter title as they are quick and easy to read/find.
  • Highlight a part of the story. Often you don’t understand the title until you have finished the book.
  • It can also help to have it link with the image and have that on mind when choosing it. What will it look like on the page

Hope this helps!

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(PS please feel free to comment your hint and tips for writing a title)