The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby

The 50/50 Killer is a crime novel written by British author Steve Mosby that was first published in 2007.

The book is about a killer who preys on couples and makes them choose who will live and ultimately who will die. however I will say that the book is about more than just the crime and the twists and turns.
we meet new detective Mark Nelson on his first case on his new team. From the beginning of this book I was engaged in it. I thought the writing was excellent and as the book continued the characters had some great depth too add to the book.

When it comes to the characters there are really two who are featured at the forefront of the book, these are new to the team Mark Nelson and experienced detective John Mackey. When we meet Mark he is keen to start this job however it
also gives you an insight into John Mackey. As Mark is nervous to meet such an experienced detective you can see the kind of influence Det. John has within this field. we follow mark as he settles into the job whilst investigating these
horrible crimes. Det. Mackey is a deeply troubled person and you can see this throughout the book, from descriptions of his actions and looks to learning that he has been affected badly by a previous case. You get an insight into his personal life and how this job not only effects himself but his loving wife. I thought that both characters were really great and well written. They allowed you to learn more about what makes them, them and understand the actions that they take.

When it comes to the actual crimes in the book it is very dark and twisted. It featured topics of murder, torture, stalking etc and also has some graphic descriptions of crimes and crime scenes. although I will say that this is balanced with the sub-plots of the characters but that doesn’t take away how intense it is. I would say that this book isn’t necessarily a typical crime novel, yes it has the investigation and the crimes, but it looks at everything is a much more comprehensive look at the impact of these crimes on everyone.
Not only the victims and the criminal but the investigators, the families and the community. The writing and the plot keeps you reading at a fast pace as you want to know everything yourself, the book is filled with various twists and turns and keeps you guessing and finding out at the same time as the characters. I really liked that, I didn’t find it predictable. Of course certain things like the investigation may be understood if you read a lot of crime novels but the actual plot was what kept you on the edge of your seat.

Overall, I would say that this book is one I would recommend. But I would say that this isn’t really a comfortable read in the sense of it being a cosy, predictable read. Mosby doesn’t shy away from gore and crime descriptions and it can keep you on edge.
I would say that it is excellent but we aware of what you are going to be reading. I would also say that Mosby walks the fine line between gore that is value to the book and it being too much but he keeps it to the former very well.

Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please feel free to like, comment and share!)

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden is the first installment of The Outlands Pentology.

I was very lucky to have been sent a copy of this book by the author in return for an honest review.

A Touch of Death is a science fiction, dystopian fantasy novel and when I first read about it I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it but I was wrong. I really enjoyed reading the book as it featured many aspects that I really like. Including good character development, crime, drama and anticipation.

I have said in many posts before, one thing I really enjoy in a book is good character development and I found that this book really had that. I really liked the main characters of Nate and Catherine and found their growing relationship to be very interesting. There was something very realistic about how it naturally grew from hatred to friendship. They work together as a team and you can see how each of their strengths and weaknesses work to complement each other.

I tend to stay clear of science fiction fantasy novels as many book are not believable and that comes with the territory but I felt that even although their world is nothing like reality it somehow felt as though it could have been. As I continued to read I felt completely immersed in their world and felt as though I was on the journey alongside them. This I would put down to the writing and the concept. The writing in this book is excellent and really made this book as good as it is.

The book does feature many tough ‘scenes’ as the title suggests and is full of twists and turns which kept me engaged and wanting to see how the characters responded and reacted.

One thing I would say however is the last section of the book I felt to be rushed on a little and having spent so long on the rest of the adventure this result could have been explored further. in saying this there were some real tear jerking moments in the ending which added some real depth to the book

Overall, I would recommend this book and I will definitely be adding the rest of the books to my TBR pile.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to like, comment and share x)

The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott

The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott is an adventure/ historical fiction novel that is set in 454AD, as the Roman Empire has withdrawn from Britain.

This historic novel follows the main female protagonist names Mai and we follow her journey through the dark ages and facing Saxon Warriors. It is full of the mysticism of early Britain and we get to delve into the world of Mai.

We start the book with Mai, Haf (sister) and her Tad at their farm when Saxon warrors arrive and the family must flee. we follow their journey to the british camp on the hills and are given an insight into how Mai is feeluing and how she copes with the change. We see her struggle wwith her new situation and wants to leave. She continues in the British camp until she finds herself in trouble and ends up in a dangerous Saxon Camp. in a world where speaking your mother tongue is deadly she must learn Saxon words in porder to survive. but will this be enough?

I also liked the character of Mai in this book. As the protagonist we follow her journey through her experience with the dark ages and Saxon warriors as she become a strong independent woman. We also get to see her relationships with others including her sister Haf and how this effects her and the outcome of her life which I felt added another dimension to the character. She is only young yet we see her go through so much which adds strength to her character. We see her become strong and resilient in a world that doesn’t appreciate who she is.

This book was also a lot about Identify and language and we see how Mai’s is affected as she is forced to speak a language that isn’t her own. She loses part of herself when she can no longer speak her mother tongue and throughout the book we see how this effects her. How much she misses to be able to speak her own language. At one point she tears up after having heard her mother tongue spoken freely which shows the importance of her language is to her.

Generally, I don’t enjoy books that are set far in the past and I can’t say I would have picked this up if I hadn’t received this in July’s Book Box Club subscription box. Saying that, I enjoyed this book and was fully engaged from the beginning. Throughout the book I noticed saying to my self ‘just one more page’ a lot, which to me is a good sign!

Overall, I would recommend this book (even if you are not usually a fan of historic fiction like myslef). It is full of adventure and with a strong female lead you constantly want to read on. even though it features a complex character it is easy to read and enjoy and is almost poetic in its writing.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to like and comment 🙂 )

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

‘Imaginary Friend’ is a book written by Stephen Chbosky which is due to be released in October. This is a release I am scored about as Chbosky first novel ‘Perks of being a Wallflower’ was a great read that I loved.

‘Perks of being a wallflower’ was then made into a film which Chbosky wrote and directed himself. Since then he has written screenplays such as The live action Beauty and the Beast.

‘Imaginary Friends’ is his second novel and follows Kate Reese. Kate is a single mother who flees an abusive relationship by moving to a new town and starting over with her son. But Mill Grove, Pennsylvania is not the place they thought it would be… after her son disappears into the woods their life begins to unravel. This disappearance is strangely familiar with a similar occurrence happening 50 years prior. When he returns 6 days later it is a relief to find him unharmed but he isn’t the same as he was before. He doesn’t come back alone and is accompanied with a voice only he can hear.

This book is thrilling and eery with a masterpiece of imagination and emotion.

I was lucky enough to be sent a link to where I could read the first couple of chapters and so far I am liking it and can’t wait till October. As with every post I will say that reading is entirely a personal choice and which books you like could be completely different to other so although I am recommending it if you don’t like it that’s fine too,

If you would like to get an extract from this book follow this link!

http://netgal.ly/CIsH6X

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you read the extract and your opinion so far!)

This Splintered Silence – Mini Review

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson is a YA Science Fiction novel set on the Lusca Space Station. Ever since every first generation crew member was killed by a deadly virus Lindley Hamilton has had to step up and become commander like her mother. Lindley and her 5 fellow friends step up to become the people in charge and we follow Lindley’s journey as she faces challenge after challenge. After members of the surviving population start to die she must figure out why and how to stop more deaths.

I really enjoyed this book and I was quite surprised that I did. I am not usually a fan of science fiction books or books set in the future however this book had mystery and suspense throughout. As we read we find out what exactly is happening on the space station alongside Lindley and are given no extra information which allows the reader to find out what has actually happened right at the end of the book at the same time as the characters. The story line is engaging and well thought out with challenges such as lack of water that is generally only something that relates to being in space.

Lindley Hamilton is a strong female lead in this novel and we see how she changes after every new challenge appears. She is vulnerable like everyone else and we do get to see that side of her as she copes with becoming commander so young and with little inexperience. Her mother greatly influences her time as commander and we can see how she puts this into practice. Although all the first gen crew members and the survivors parents are no longer there we can see how they are helping the characters every day. She has been thrown into a very intense role and we get the chance to see inside her head and understand exactly what she is feeling and thinking.

I really liked the characterisation in this book. They are realistic and genuine. They are not all portrayed as completly capable and knowledgable and we can see the strain the deaths have put on them. As new deaths appear and challenges including low food and water supplies we see how the relationships between the characters change. This novel is strongly character based which I enjoyed as you got to see them grow. The novel often focuses more on the characters reactions (mainly Lindley as it is written from her POV) that the actual events themselves which is an intriguing read.

The structure of this novel is something I really enjoyed as well. It is written in short chapters which often makes me read more in a sitting. If I am reading and decide to stop I often say to myself ‘the next chapters only a couple pages long, I will read that and then stop’. I rarely say that once as well. It think this obviously says something about the story as I don’t want to put the book down however shows how the writer can use the structure to this advantage.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to readers of YA, Science Fiction or Mystery novels as it contains elements of all. I would also recommend this book to readers who like a strong character based book like myself. I really enjoyed this book and the style of writing and I would love to read more from this novel in the future!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have every read this book or have any Science Fiction recommendations)

Only the Ocean – Natasha Carthew

Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew is a young adult book that focuses on a young girl who is trying to survive in a dark and scary world. You follow Kel who plans to kidnap a girl in order to fund her trip to America to receive help for her heart. Whilst doing this not everything goes to plan and they both end up stranded in the middle of the ocean with only the hope of surviving. Due to this time spent together they grow close and become friends which is unusual for someone from the ‘swamps’ and the other from the ‘towers’.

There are two main characters in this book, both young girls named Kel and Rose. They are from completely different world and you can see that throughout the book. The way that Kel talks in comparison to Rose show the difference in class and education alone. They are an unlikely friendship however as the book goes on and they learn more about one another you can see they begin to bond. I did like these characters and did feel as though they fit the story well even if it want my favourite book.

I did find it took a little while to get into the book as the dialogue takes some getting used to. The writer used a lot of slang and phonetic words. This can become confusing at times however the narration in between the dialogue cleared things up and you could follow the story.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, this is just a personal opinion however as many others do love it. I feel it lacked action for me and didn’t necessarily keep me engaged. It also seems unrealistic in a way. I know it is a fictional book however I find it hard that they did survive on the sea for so long when it was described as being so wild. I also felt that the baby being in the book was pointless. I didn’t feel it added to anything and that at times I felt the writer had forgotten about it. I know the premise was that Kel didn’t like the bay however I feel as though the baby wouldn’t have survived these events. At one point when they come across a ship that they went aboard to look for food the baby seemed to just disappear for a while.

 The characters went through a lot however everything went back to normal very quickly. For example, Rose suffered a bad injury on her leg after their raft capsized yet despite spending days with an open wound on an island then on the sea it seemed to just be fine.

Overall, I would say that this book wasn’t for me. I liked the characters and felt the fit the story however I personally didn’t enjoy it. I felt that it was long and drawn out with a few events along the way with a disappointing ending.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion of this book if you have ever read it or if there are any other comments you want to make)

‘No Safe House’ by Linwood Barclay

No Safe House by Linwood Barclay is a thriller and crime novel that is the sequel to No Time for Goodbye. This picks up 7 years after the previous book and follows the same characters, Terry, Cynthia,Grace and Vince who are dealing with the trauma of what happened all those years ago.

It follows Terry as he tries to keep his family together after that night 7 years ago. Cynthia is dealing with her personal demons and Grace is becoming a rebellious teen, both of which are driving the family apart. Whilst trying to keep the family together they stumble back into the world of Vince, the infamous gangster. When grace foolishly follows her boyfriend into a stranger’s house, Terry’s mission changes from keeping the family together to keeping the family alive.

I really enjoyed this book and felt as though I was kept on the edge of my seat. I think it is a realistic character development from book 1 and that it all related to the previous book. The beginning of the story was more focused on how the family are doing since the events of that nights but we soon are brought into the mysteries and events of current day. I liked how in this book we were given a chance to learn more about the who the characters are now and how that effects the events in the rest of the book and gave us something tangible to link to them.

The story has lots of twists and turns which keep you wondering what is going to happen next. The book is fast paced and exciting which I enjoyed as it made me read quicker as I kept to the pace of the book. More times than not I didn’t want to put the book down and just wanted to know how it all ended. It shows both the psychological and physical effects of the characters and how they are dealing with such a huge amount of emotions. We are also given an insight into how Vince and Jane are doing since the previous book and how they have changed since that night.

I think that considering that there are more than one main character Linwood Barclay balances the amount on information of each character well. I feel as though I know loads about each character and why they are the way they are which I was impressed with considering, in my opinion, there are 5.

Overall, I would recommend this book but I would definitely read the first book, No Time for goodbye, first. I would say that I preferred the story of this book more however it often links to the previous book which without reading could cause confusion.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion of these books or any other recommendations by Linwood Barclay)

‘No Time For Goodbye’ Linwood Barclay

‘No Time For Goodbye’ is a crime thriller novel by author Linwood Barclay that was published in 2007. The book centers around a woman named Cynthia and the disappearance of her family. She wakes up one day and her family is gone, no bodies, no crime scene, no evidence. What really happened to her family? It follows her journey trying to find out what happened to her family 25 years ago and the new clues that are appearing.

I really enjoyed this book as it wasn’t entirely based from a police procedural view and looked more and the view of Cynthia and her husbands. How they are coping with the new information and trying to figure out what happened to Cynthia’s family.

I found both Cynthia and her husband likable characters which made me more invested in finding out how it all ended. We see a flashback to the night Cynthia family went missing at the beginning of the novel which helped to show who she is today and how she has been shaped by these traumatic events. The guilt and sadness that came alongside the experience becomes apparent in her life with her husband and daughter now and how she has become more paranoid than ever. Her husband is also likable as we see how the events effect him and their daughter. We see him becoming more annoyed and suspicious which I think adds realism because if he was always positive and supportive would that be truthful to what would actually happen in that scenario.

I found that the book started off at an average pace but soon speeds up as more pieces of the jigsaw fits together and her husband becomes more and more involved in finding out the truth.

I think the ending of the book matches to the build up and is an exciting ending. There are more twists and turns up until the last page so it keeps you on the edge of your seat. You want to know what happened all those years ago and you want it to be a happy ending (as much as possible) for Cynthia and her family.

Overall, I would highly recommend this thriller as it keeps ypou on the edge of your seat throughout with a realistic story. I am excited to read the sequel ! ‘No Safe House’

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on this book or any others by Linwood Barclay)

The Other Side of Lost

The Other Side of Lost’  is my new favourite book.

The other side of lost
Source: http://www.goodreads.com

There are no crimes, mysteries or gruesome murders but it’s still my new favourite book. It is awe inspiring and beautifully written. I was engaged from the get go and loved every moment. I just finished reading it two days ago and I already want to read it again!

I think that Jessi Kirby has written an amazing book. It features a realistic character who faces the big question, who am I? It features an online influencer in the beginning who finds herself after experiencing a devastating loss. She is a lovely character who has put on a mask for the world to see in order to hide her true self. I am glad to have discovered Mari and see her journey of personal development. It may be fictitious but after every sentence I read I became more invested in her journey. She is likable and relatable. Bri is an inspiring character also. She is the center of the story and I think that is an important factor. She lived her life doing exactly what she loved and wanted to do. I want to be like Bri.

I think that ‘the other side of lost’ is a great metaphor for life right now. Everyone is becoming more obsessed with social media and how they are portrayed on it. Take the time to look at who you really are and what you really want. Follow your dreams, not your followers !

The book deals with the sensitive subject of loss and although it is a major part of the book it is not what the book is about. It shows how loss can effect someones life. If we loose a person close to us it makes us think, like it did for Mari. In her case, it made her look to her childhood and all the dreams she has with her cousin which she didn’t fulfill. She decides to go on the John Muir Trail, a hiking trail that they had both dreamed of completing together in honour of Bri. It began with wanting to complete Bri’s hike but ended with Mari finishing her own.

The book also deals with friendship and how you can find the best relationships when you least expect it, Mari stumbles upon a group of hikers and we get to see how their relationships develop. This adds extra depth to the story and makes a more relevant story about how to deal with new friendships and meeting new people.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone and I mean anyone. It is a beautiful novel which I think would suit the majority of readers. I would like to thank Jessi Kirby for writing this book and I would also like to thank Kate and Libby from Book Box Club for including it in their ‘into the woods box’. If they hadn’t included it in doubt I would have ever read it.
I love this book, please take the time to read it !

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have read this book or if you are going to!)

Talking with Female Serial Killers – Mini Review

talking with female serial killers

Talking with Female Serial Killers’ is a book written by Christopher Berry-Dee, released in May 2018, which looks at the most chilling female serial killers in the world. Christopher Berry-Dee is a criminologist and author who has previously released books on true crime including ‘Talking with Female Serial Killers’ and ‘Monster’. The book looks at those women who not only kill but kill again and again.

In this book, Berry-Dee looks at the female killers who are the masterminds behind the murders as well those who kill under the influence of a partner such as Myra Hindley and Rosemary West. He looks at the motives behind their crimes as well as looking at those killers who were influences by being victims themselves or a witness to crime.

I enjoyed reading this book as I find learning why people kill fascinating however I felt that the book was confusing at times skipping between stories and events. The information given was necessary in explaining the crimes but I think it could have been written in a smoother structure as at times I felt lost and was insure what part I was reading.  I also think this book’s title was misleading as there were no real interviews with any serial killers. There were quotes from previous interviews conducted by Berry-Dee and others however which helped to understand where the convicted females stand.

I have read a lot of reviews on this book and feel that a lot of them were unfair. The book is an interesting read and I did enjoy reading it even after what I said above. A lot of reviews stated that it was badly written and full of too many adjectives and metaphors however I do feel that this was the case due to the writer trying to get people more engaged as well as adding a little bit of humour to a dark book.

Overall, I would say that if you are interested in reading about female serial killers then it is a good book however do not expect for there to be lengthy interviews with them. I personally quite liked this book but do be aware than many people didn’t enjoy this book.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on this book or if you have read another book about female serial killers)