The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly

We all think we know who we are.

What we’re capable of.

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.

Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.

But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.

Let me ask you this – would you make the same mistake as Roz Toovey?

The Mistake I Made was my introduction into the world of Paula Daly, after reading the first couple of pages I knew I was in for a winning read, the style being so easy reading and flowing.

Roz Toovey is the main character of the story, yes, she was the one who made the mistake and she narrates the novel to the reader. I enjoyed the way she presented herself, realistically, normal and believable. Roz was an everyday person trying and desperately failing to make ends meet.

When you really hit rock bottom do you honestly know what you would agree to? desperation and destitution can distract from the reality of what is perceived to be right and wrong and Roz was right in the thick of things. Scott came along as an opportunity for a way out, a release if you will with an ‘easy’ solution that would make life easier for Roz and her Son. Roz would have done whatever it took for the happiness of her Son. Her life was extremely hard and with a disgruntled and worried young child about the become harder being given an opportunity for an escape route was a silver lining.

Scott Elias, wealthy, powerful, and very married is another strong character in the story but not necessarily a nice one. He was not really my cup of tea and portrayed as the ‘man who always gets what he wants’ character, selfish, spoilt, spiteful and peevish. He plays his part very well, until things do not go as he wants them too, this is when we see his ‘other’ side.  His character is written very well and again believable.

As I was nearing the end of the story it hit me with full force what was happening and why

That moment of ‘oh god can it really be’ and ‘it really was’ which although my instinct was correct this didn’t ruin the story just added another layer of tension and disgust.

I found myself reading faster and faster over the last two chapters willing the characters to behave how I wanted, wishing the story to take a sideways shift I didn’t want to read the inevitable, I didn’t want that end result and luckily I wasn’t disappointed.

I closed the book with a cheesy smile across my face

I gave The Mistake I Made 5 stars because it caught my attention, was written in a very realistic way with wholesome characters and an unpredictable ending.

I would recommend the work of Paula Daly and would most certainly read another of her novels

For an easy read and an absorbing, switch your head off style of book I suggest you give this one a try.




The Snowman – Jo Nesbo

Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity.

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.

Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.

Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time.

This was the very first time I had been introduced to Nesbø, where I had been the last so many years to have missed these I don’t know –  oh my god  this book!

Reading Nesbo gave me the bug for revisiting the nostalgia of reading book after book by all those well-known authors, in the days when kindles didn’t exist and every weekend I would consume one story after another. I have been on the hunt for more works by Nesbø ever since!

The detail and depth of this book the links that tie everything bringing the connections together are fantastic. Clearly articulated and  thoroughly developed.

I loved the characters, a strong performance by all, with Harry Hole at centre stage, he, for me, stole the show. Not the most moral of characters, with a history and a dark past yet this added to his appeal, perfectly written for the starring role.
With so many revelations, twists and turns Snowman kept me hooked, riveted and perched right on the edge of my seat.
A large, meaty novel which I would highly recommend, a superb starting book to be introduced to such fine work.


One of Us is Lying – Karen McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. 
Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident.

On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

This was a very strong contender for Book of the Year for me. I devoured this read adoring it all the way.

The whole storyline, setting, scene, plot and characters screamed Breakfast Club

which I just loved and found really easy to relate to. The book was a switch your head off and enjoy read, like watching an easygoing film.

I personally found this a fantastic read and brilliant story and all go from the outset. I have recommended this several times this year and would be interested in reading more from McManus.

Fires – Tom Ward

There’s a fire on the horizon.

For Guy, a fireman, it means the death of his wife and daughter. For 19-year-old Nathan and Alexa it means a chance to fight back against austerity and abandonment.

While the teenagers turn to arson, Guy searches for meaning behind his family’s deaths, battling corruption and a lost underclass, intent on fiery revolution.

For all three, their actions will lead them to the precipice of disaster.

The latest novel by Tom Ward is very different from his previous two. Fires, which is due to be published and available from November 2nd is a dark, gritty and tragic read. Absolutely absorbing, heart wrenching and heroic in a twisted kind of way, from beginning the first sentence I was transported to the dank streets of smoke, grit, rain and fear, deposited within the worlds of both Guy and Nathan as they both pursued their own personal journeys to find the right to correct the wrong and peace in a harsh dying setting that has lost all hope and left to abandonment.

The story begins with Guy, in happier times, we catch a glimpse of his family life, his world outside of the long hours and roaring heat of the fires he manages each day, his agony and hardship he feels at leaving his daughter to yet again attend another lengthy night shift. Three pages in and the story hits the reader with full force as tragedy strikes and Guy finds his whole world turned upside down. Fires tells the story of a devoted father and loving husband on a mission to discover the truth no matter of what the cost.

We are introduced to Nathan very early on. Young adolescent teenager, tired of the same old, tied to a suffocating routine and dead-end living. Looking for that spark of excitement he ventures down the path of no return turning his hand to arson and the addictive glow of burning embers. Nathan wasn’t what I expected him to be, he was a lost soul looking for some affection and an escape from the mundane, regardless of the result.

Ward weaves both stories together, the reader witnessing the challenges of both characters as each run aligned close together, how they cross paths and disperse only to become entangled again. Both characters are as important as each other, both determined, strong and seeking a new outcome, answers to questions and a chance to do the right thing, even if it isn’t the conventional way forward.

My interest in Fires was captured by the journeys of Guy and Nathan, with every other character playing their part as best they could

A captivating read with a satisfying and conclusive ending

Allow Ward to draw you in, feel the flames against your skin but be careful you don’t get too close

Read about these amazing characters and their journeys for finding the right solution. I am delighted to publish the very first review!


Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land

‘NEW N A M E .
S H I N Y.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

This book was certainly one of the best I have read this year being such a good story.

Although we never conversed with Annie’s mum I felt we knew her well, the constant narrative running through Annie’s head was written in such detail that as readers this helped us piece together the history of the life before Annie became Milly.

Throughout the story I always held my thoughts on Milly in reserve

I wasn’t surprised with how her relationships developed and the way things shifted within the book. I wasn’t surprised by the final outcome but felt it was written incredibly well. There was always the feeling of something is just not right but without pin pointing exactly was it was keeps the reader in a unknowing state until the end of the book.

This is one of those books I highly recommend and found really enjoyable to read

Watching Edie – Camila Way

Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely…

I love the works of Camilla Way, I become entranced by the easy way she writes yet her words managing to encapsulate me pulling me into her prose with the emotion that hangs from each word

Watching Edie was just like that, the whole story weaving its way around the reader, gently leading you along the garden path pulling you in the direction of the winding edges and shaded trees, filling in the back story, writing in the way you believe the story should unfold. If only life was ever that simple, the shocker of this story is very much that, A shocker!

The characters are very well thought out, quite different to each other and none without a million layers, reading the story from separate timelines really fuses the story together bringing to life these main characters and filling in the gaps. It is one of those stories that doesn’t really go the way you anticipate but leaves you in awe of the revelations and shocking outcome.

Way is a wonderful author, one of those I know will never disappoint, I really do love her work.



The Lying Game – Ruth Ware

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?

I was invited by Penguin Random House to join their Vintage Crime Reviewer Club, which came at just the right time. I have been struggling with reading, continuously in a book slump and not managing to finish the last five I have attempted, which for me, is quite alarming.

With the request to form part of this exciting new venture I got to choose which book took my fancy and found myself gravitating towards The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, I felt it would be a good easy read with a gripping storyline to draw me in and keep me hooked.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Lying Game, what I loved the most was the location of the story, the history around that location, the young lives of a group of close friends and the memories of a sizzling summer that changed the lives of all concerned thereafter.

Ware carefully wraps both the timelines together expertly, the presentation of memories from time gone by and the here and now as secrets are told and reality unfolds with history close on their heels is so delicately woven together dropping breadcrumbs one by one expecting the reader to follow the trail and join the dots.

Strong characters and a twisty plotline that keeps you on your toes

such an interesting read with an edge of raw emotion running throughout. The tales of a life before and a life in the present and how time and age defines who we are. Feeling captivated from the start this was one of those fevered reads that has you reeling just from the emotion alone.  An excellent read and one I would most certainly recommend.