I picked this up on Kindle for 20p back in December when Amazon were having one of their seasonal special deals. It is now £3.29.
Set on the Isle of Man, plumber Rob Hale wakes up in hospital with head injuries sustained in an accident he has had on his motorbike. In pain, dazed and confused, he asks after Lena – a woman he had met the day before and who he had been giving a ride to when he crashed.
When he is told that no woman was brought in with him and that the house he believed he picked her up from was deserted, he wonders whether it’s his mind playing tricks on him. She did bear a strong resemblence to his sister who died recently – perhaps his combined head trauma and grief has somehow merged the two events?
But then his parents bring in Rebecca, a PI from London, to investigate his sister’s suicide. together they start uncovering things that seem to point to Lena’s existence and a possible connection to his sister.
From the start, this had me gripped – there’s nothing like a disappearing hot chick mystery to draw you in. It didn’t relent from there. The action was fast-paced, and Rob has a great and believable voice – and he loves his grandpa and his dog Rocky, so can only be a good guy, right?
There’s intrigue, death, and a huge conspiracy theory – what more can you want from a thriller? OK, the plot seems a little thin or confusing at a couple of points, but overall it does what it says on the tin – it thrills, has great pace and a likeable and real protagonist.
Enjoyable beach / holiday light reading type book.
I was lucky to be able to get this as an Advance Review Copy.
Jason Getty is a quiet unassuming man – softly spoken and mild-mannered widower of a wife that he adored. That’s why he finds it so hard to come to terms that there is a body slowly decomposing in his back garden – a body that HE put there.
That’s why, when there are workmen digging up his garden, he nervously awaits the inevitable call to “see what they’ve uncovered”. However, when he finally manages to control his quaking legs and walks out of his back door, he finds them staring aroound a whole in the ground, not at the back, near the fence, but in a flower bed, right near the house.
Jason joins them, confused, and finds himself staring at a human skeleton. But this isn’t HIS skeleton! Who the hell has buried a body in his garden. As the book title suggests, another body is soon found, that also isn’t the one that Jason is accountable for!
Just as Jason had thought that he had to finally face the music for what he had done, he now wonders if there is a chance that he may be able to get away with it after all.
I loved this book as I loved the disparate nature of the main characters, that all came together so imaginatively. There is a fantastic drip-feed of information that kept me turning the pages (well, clicking my kindle button) well after I should have been asleep!
It is a brave author who introduces one of their main characters as a murderer, and then has to work so hard to ensure that the reader does not make a snap judgement of them. It was also unusual to feel on the side of both the police AND the person that they were trying to apprehend.
I can imagine it making a film with very ‘squidgy’ gross parts to it. One section especially comes to mind, “There wasn’t enough firm substance left in the pile to technically fall on Harris, so the finale was more of a splashy dive into him.“ Eww!
There are a few parts that I highlighted as there were some really lovely phrases used. And one of the best characters is that of Maggie, the faithful dog of one of the detectives – she’s fab!
It has a Coen brothers / Carl Hiassen, Christopher Brookmyre feel to it, and was a great romping read.
Three Graves Full will be published on 12th February 2013.
I received this as a review copy via the publishers.
Heron House in Carmarthenshire the eerie setting for this supernatural thriller bridging the late 40s and 2005.
Londoner Jason Robbins signs up for a creative-writing course to be held in the sprawling property that has seen better days. Jason is enamoured by cook Helen who meets him from the station, but is wary of sinister elderly Davies cleaner & gardener duo who seem to have some kind of hold of their scheming employer Monty Flynn.
When Helen & Jason find a local old lady dead in her home, they both start experiencing things that they can’t explain. Strange stains and smells in Heron House appear and disappear, books fly across the room and they both start seeing strange scenes and hearing the same voice 0 that of Magriad.
But who is Magriad? What does she have to do with Heron House? Why does Monty Flynn suddenly need to rush off to London? And what does this all have to do with the events of 1946?
This book felt like it took me an age to finish – but I was determined to, even though I dreaded reading it every time I picked it up.
I know that I have had a lot on my mind recently, but even taking that into account, I found this horrendously confusing. Because of the two storylines, there were two sets of characters, and the cast for each seemed to be rather large. I got quite lost as to who various people were, and where they fit in.
I can’t fault Spedding for creating an atmospheric setting, but I wasn’t quite as convinced with her huge cast of characters. Jason & Helen felt believable enough, and seemed pretty well realised, but I couldn’t really understand the motivations for the rest of them – so it felt that no matter how they acted, it confused me!
It also felt unnecessarily graphic at some points. I kind of get why, but perhaps because I didn’t buy into many of the characters, it really felt disturbingly harsh. There was really only one sexual scene, but then I have have never read a story with so many references to a woman’s period – it felt almost sick. Yes…there was eventually a reason to it, but I felt that every few pages I was having to read about it, and the end by no means made up for the uncomfortable reading.
And I am in no way a prude by a long shot!
I’d be interested in finding anyone else who has read this, to see whether it’s just my current state of mind that made this so unenjoyably confusing. I can’t say I would pick up another one of her books.
**UPDATE** In contrast to my own review, there is another more complimentary one here: http://gmtaliterarycommunity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/cold-remains-by-sally-speddingreview.html
I like to be fair!
This was another book that I picked up because I was looking for something to give me a bit of a scare / thrill.
John Harris and his family feel liek they’re really living the dream when their numbers come in on the lottery and they have the opportunity to buy the ultimate fantasy house – a huge, old mansion that seems perfect for them.
However, it’s not long before both John and his young daughter start experiencing things that they can’t explain – dark, sinister things. And John starts worrying that his past may have caught up with him.
The start of the book really drew me in — the idea that everything had come right for this little family by a turn of fate. You soon realise though that this house being available for them to buy isn’t exactly a natural circumstance.
The build-up to the ‘action’ is full of suspense, and I had that wonderful slightly scared feeling that I was looking for. It was full of atmosphere and intrigue.
However, as things started being explained, and the ‘scare factor’ was supposedly stepped up a notch, I felt that the story started losing me. I wasn’t quite as interested, it didn’t seem quite so malevolant, and I really didn’t feel it any more.
Of course, that could just be me, but I found the last half of the book a disappointment after the brilliant first half. I would be willing to give the author another go though – the first chapter of his second novel that is included within this one sounded intriguing.
After listening to the fantastic Dead Scared a few months ago without realising it was the second book featurning DC Lacey Flint, I thought I’d go back and listen to the first one.
In this story, we’re properly introduced to young Met Police DC Lacey Flint and her own introduction to DI Mark Joesbury.
Lacey is interviewing a potential witness to a violent crime, when a woman is stabbed so severely she dies in Lacey’s arms, and it becomes apparent that Lacey must have only missed the actual murder by seconds – almost as if it was performed for her personally.
When another kill is added to this particular murderer’s tally, certain facts come to light that make Lacey wonder if there could be a more deep-set motive that she should be spotting.
This is a fantastic thriller – a complete page turner (although I’m not sure what the equivalent of that is on audiobook!). It has pace, it has interesting characters, it has loads of Jack the Ripper stuff, it has gore, it has depth and it has a riveting climax, which I loved, even though I accidentally listened to the second book first, so knew part of the outcome!
If you like detective thrillers, definitely give this one a go – it’s only £3.93 on Amazon at the moment…and then you can follow up immediately with Dead Scared! I can’t wait for the next in the series (please let there be a next in the series!)
I have missed a couple of Neil White books (which I will be going back to read at some stage), but this one isn’t part of the DC Laura McGanity series, I spotted that it was only 99p, I needed a good thriller and I love Neil White – I couldn’t go wrong, could I?
Set in York, it starts with the discovery of the mutilated body of one-time lottery-winner Billy Privett. After his win, Billy had been very much the party-boy, but his namehad been tainted by the death of a teenage girl in his swimming pool a year before – a death that has haunted DI Sheldon Brown ever since.
His lawyer had always been sure of Privett’s innocence in the matter, but it falls to her colleague Charlie Barker and Brown himself to unravel what really happened that night.
If you’ve never read Neil White but like a good detective thriller, you should really give this one a go – especially at 99p, it’s a bargain.
At first, as you are introduced to the main characters, you wonder how the hell they have anything to do with each other and how the story is going to tie-up. Think Christopher Brookmyre, Carl Hiassen or even Guy Ritchie, and you’ll get what I mean.
They do tie up neatly though – and quite unexpectedly. Every time I thought I knew what had actually happened, I was proven wrong a couple of pages (clicks) later – and I love that, as long as I don’t feel like I am purposely being led down the wrong path.
Fast-paced, action-packed and clever. It was exactly what I was looking for and I loved it!
I read 1222 some time again, not realising at first that it was the 8th (and currently last) of a series of books starring Hanne Wilhemsen.
I thoroughly enjoyed 1222, so when I saw that this (the first in the series) was in the special offer from Amazon, I thought it would be a good chance to start from the very beginning!
The body of a small-time drug dealer is found beaten to death by Karen Borg, a lawyer out walking her dog. When a Dutchman is found wandering the streets of Oslo, covered in blood and discovers who found the body, he refuses to speak to anyone but Karen Borg – even though criminal law is not her speciality.
When a slightly dodgy lawyer is then murdered a few days later, noone thinks that the two crimes are related – apart from DI Hanne Wilhelmsen, who is determined to get to the bottom of what has happened – no matter what the consequences!
This is a scandal in the justice system that threatens to go higher than anyone expects.
This was a good, solid detective thriller, but I didn’t find it quite so much a page-turner as I did 1222. I assume that Holt probably gained her stride with her character.
Also, if I hadn’t have known, I wouldn’t necessarily have pegged Wilhelmsen as the character to be the basis of the series after reading just this one book. She certainly didn’t feel the most developed or interesting. I am interested inthe rest of the series, but wont be rushing out to read them all as soon as possible!
I have no idea what it was that inspired me to get this book, probably a recommendation on Amazon, but there don’t seem to have been many people that have read / reviewed it!
A young actress regains consciousness in a basement in London. The room she is in is dirty and bare, apart from a mirror on the wall opposite her. She is tightly tied to the chair she is sitting on. A voice over a loudspeaker informs her that she has 15 minutes to live, and that she’d better make the most of it.
Troubled fourteen year old Kaylin lives on a London estate with her mum who is a struggling actress. Whilst round a friend’s house, Kaylin learns that there is a serial killer targetting actresses, and she begins to fear for her mum’s life.
I do love me a trashy stabby-thriller-catchy-killer type of book every now and then. And I have to admit, I really enjoyed this one.
It’s not the most descriptive book, it’s not a clear window into the souls of the characters, but there was something easy and compelling about it.
All the way through I kept convincing myself that I knew what was going to happen next. I knew how it was going to end, and then I’d change my mind, and know that it was going to end a different way.
I think that one of the reasons I actually look back on this story with a slight smile is because I really didn’t know how it was going to end. It kept me guessing right to the last few pages / clicks and was in fact more clever than I was expecting. Kudos to Mr Marcos for this, as there are not many thrillers that I haven’t been able to guess over recent years.
A good easy read, does what it says on the tin
I picked this up on Audible as part of their sale.
It was narrated by Lisa Coleman (remember nurse Jude from Casualty) whose voice seemed to be a perfect fit for the part. Young-sounding and slightly rough around the edges, it was just how I imagine lead character DC Lacey Flint to sound.
Soon into the book, I realised that this wasn’t the first of Lacey’s stories – this is actually a follow-up to Now You See Me that features her and her boss DI Mark Joesbury. Although there were many hints as to happenings in the first book, I didn’t feel that I needed to have read the first (although I am probably going to go back and read it anyway as I enjoyed this one so much).
We start with Joesbury and Lacey being reunited after a traumatic incident obviously at the end of the previous book. There have been rather a high number of suicides amongst students at Cambridge University and Joesbury wants Lacey to go undercover as a student to see whether she can find out if there is more to this sudden spate than just unhappy youngsters.
There is a line of thought that there could be online activities including forums that may be harboring an environment that encourages particularly vulnerable students to take their own lives. Lacey’s task is to portray herself as such a girl, and see whether anyone tries to exploit her. The only person who knows what she is really at the University for is the student psychologist who believes that there is a pattern to the suicides.
The book actually starts with the final scene – a woman about to jump from the roof of a University building and then flashes back to explain how we got there. It was a real proper thriller. And actually pretty thrilling. I loved it. There were some great descriptions and the action was fast-paced.
There was just enough new information dripped out each time to make you think “Ohhh…” and see things in a different light. Unlike many thrillers I have read, it wasn’t obvious who ‘the baddies’ were until near the end when the author was ready to reveal what was really going on.
It really one of the best thriller / detective stories I’ve read in a while, and I think the audiobook was a huge credit to it.
I had never actually heard of this film before, but wasbrowsing the World Cinema section in CEX in Walthamstow a couple of weeks ago and it caught my eye – and for a couple of quid, you can’t really complain!
This is a rather claustrophobic horror story (but only a 15 rating, so not particularly gruesome – more of a thriller than a horror really) set in one location, a small, isolated, ramshackle cottage and the immediate grounds that it nestles in.
(Probably) teenager Laura and her father (Wilson) have been tasked with tidying up the cottage and garden to get it ready for sale. The film begins early evening, following them as they walk across the firld to meet the owner (Nestor) who is is Wilson’s friend. He lets them in, shows them a couple of old chairs they can sleep in for the night and promises to bring them back some food. He also warns them not to go upstairs as the floor is unstable and he doesn’t want them to have an accident.
The film has barely any colour, grim & grainy and shot on a ‘home-movie’ style handheld, almost shadowing Laura. You feel like you’re permanently sitting on her shoulder! And she goes around the house with a lamp or torch most of the time, so there is a ring of darkness just to the edge of the shot.
The main reason that this film is unique though is because it appears to have been filmed all in one continuous take, making the film in real time. There are a couple of moments where I thought “Could that have been edited?” but they definitely site it as a one-take film, which is pretty amazing really – and worth watching even just to see how they did it! It certainly gives this a completely different feel to your usual horror film.
It was quite engrossing, but as I said, really rather claustrophobic. I must admit, i enjoyed it quite a bit, BUT it did have times where nothing much seemed to be happening. There was a lot of time spent with Laura holding up her gas lamp, just looking at various pictures and bric-a-brac in rooms. I guess this is because of the ‘real time’ and one take aspect of it – they probably needed time to prepare for the more ‘action’ scenes.
I think the one thing that disappointed me though was the ending, I’m not exactly a thickie, but I really didn’t understand it. I understood what it was trying to say, and what had come before, but how it all actually worked within the confines of the film slightly alluded me.
If anyone nearby wants to borrow the DVD though, it’s worth a look and you’re more than welcome
My rating 6.5/10