Book Review-Death-Wish


Death Wish

by

Linda Huber

Death Wish was recommended by a Goodreads friend.  I had never heard of Linda Huber, however, after reading Death Wish I will be seeking out more of her novels.

Death Wish is a rather gruesome story about neighbours who have family problems.  Both have an elderly parent living with them.  And while sympathising with one parent’s wishes it is hard to feel anything but annoyance towards the other.  And if the latter’s son-in-law had not been so greedy many of their issues would not have arisen, which means no story to tell.

There is, thankfully, only one child in this story, eight-year-old year old Joya who is treated like a mushroom (kept in the dark and feed….).  Joya is sensitive to the verbal and non-verbal cues which are all around her.   And yes she does draw the incorrect conclusion in many instances.  Death Wish portrays a gross lack of real communication between, and within, both families.

From the prologue to the epilogue, Death Wish kept me intrigued.  Death Wish does not sound like a crime story however it is.   Death Wish also deals with the social issue of elderly and infirm parents moving in with their children and, in particularly, parents making unreasonable demands and manipulating the lives of their off-spring.  How both these families deal with their individual and combined problems will keep you turning page after page.

Goodreads readers have rated

Death Wish

4.24 stars from 91 ratings and 30 reviews.

I rated Death Wish

 a solidread.

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Death Wish

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia, Amazon,

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Book Review-Broken-Vows


Broken Vows

(Broken Vows Trilogy Book 1)

by

Marty Langenberg

Before I go any further I must declare that I know and worked with Marty for several years before he retired.  However, I believe this has not clouded my review. 

‘Broken Vows’ is Book 1 of the ‘Broken Vows Trilogy’.  ‘Broken Vows’ refers to the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, which Catholic priests take, before they are ordained.

 

The opening of ‘Broken Vows’ sees three young men studying to be  priests and discussing, at length, the meaning of these Vows.  To say they come up with some interesting definitions of each Vow is understatement.  These definitions combined with the Bishop’s view of simply moving priests to another parish when their warped proclivities were discovered and reported, provides an interesting opening to ‘Broken Vows’

 

 ‘Broken Vows’ is about these priests and a family with three boys at a Catholic boy’s boarding school in a time when children were to be seen and not heard.  The seen and not heard comment applied especially if the child’s actions or thoughts could bring humiliation on family or school.  The boys’ father often used the phrase “…these things don’t happen in Catholic schools…” and was more concerned with his family’s public persona than his boy’s well-being.  This attitude resulted in the worst possible outcome for the family…followed by their eldest son leaving school without a word to anyone.

 

‘Broken Vows’ was a bit close to home for me for various reasons.  I did attend a Catholic all boys’ boarding school during the sixties.   Staff names were similar to some of those appearing in ‘Broken Vows’.  We also had several boys disappear overnight as in ‘Broken Vows’.  We all believed the version of their absence provided by the Rector without question.  I don’t know of any rumours that may link any of our staff to the ‘Broken Vows’ activities.  But how would we have known?  Asking the Rector would have been out of the question.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Broken Vows’ and scenarios put forward by Marty.  I felt ‘Broken Vows’ was fast paced and it was definitely one of those books which saw me wanting to read on into the early hours of the morning.

 

Attending a Catholic Boarding School is not a pre-requisite to enjoy ‘Broken Vows’‘Broken Vows’ could have been set within any Denomination and still been an enjoyable read.

I have already read and reviewed ‘Pennie’, a short story prequel to Book 2 of the Broken Vows Trilogy.   May I suggest you do likewise?

I have rated ‘Broken Vows’ a solid four star read and added one more for an outstanding debut novel.

To date, no other Goodreads readers have rated or reviewed ‘Broken Vows’.

 Aread.

Image result for broken vows langenberg

Broken Vows

can be purchased on-line at 

Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

Kobo, OverDrive

 

Book Review-Pennie


Pennie

(Broken Vows Trilogy #1.5)

by

Marty Langenberg

Pennie is a prequel to The Baby Farm which is book 2 of the Broken Vows trilogy and tells us of Pennie’s background; the how and why she came to be in Orange (New South Wales) in Book 1, Broken Vows.

Before proceeding any further I must state that I am not a fan of short stories.  Any I have read seem to pique my interest and the next page, like a Perry Mason script (which shows my age), the story ends in a few sentences.

 My initial reaction to Pennie was that I had read much of this before either from the blurb or as Pennie retold her story to Steve/Des in Broken Vows.

Pennie became more interesting as it progressed to Pennie’s hitchhiking days and as mentioned previously ended rather abruptly.  I do hope Pennie’s character is featured in later books as I think she could be expanded upon and interesting story lines could revolve around her.

Pennie was an enjoyable read and worthy of a solid three star rating.

At the time of writing no other Goodreads Readers had rated or reviewed Pennie.

 A solidread.

36485457

Pennie

can be purchased on-line at 

AmazonBarnes & Noble,

Kobo, OverDrive

I must declare that I know and worked with Marty for several years before his retirement.  Little did I know he was a closet author. 🙂  However, my review is genuine…as are all my reviews.  

Book Review-Death-of-a-Blue-Movie-Star


Death of a Blue Movie Star

(Rune, #2)

by

Jeffery Deaver

 

Death of a Blue Movie Star is the second Jeffrey Deaver’s ‘Rune’ series of novels.  It was, as always with Deaver’s books an enjoyable, if somewhat dated, read.  By dated I am referring to the fact that every time a phone call needs to be made Rune needs to find a public/pay phone…which, wherever Rune is, always works!  It is a pity that authors or publishers do not see fit to re-publish a book with updated versions eliminating old technology (pay phone) for contemporary equivalents, particularly when there are still people reading these older books.

 

Enough of my opinion!  In Death of a Blue Movie Star we again we find young Rune barely able to hold down her job despite appearing to be very capable.  This time Rune wants to make a documentary and is able to borrow her ‘Australian’ employer’s video camera for said project after hours.  Supposedly Australian employers sounded very much like a Cockney accent as I read the book.   The vernacular was not quite right, in my opinion.  To me this was so with many movies of the 1970s and 1980s which contained an ‘Australian’ character which often sounded very British.

 

Young Rune’s project soon sees her involved with murders which only she wants to solve.  Generally, the police are not all that inclined to pursue these crimes because they occur and involve persons making Adult Movies.  The only person who considers her crusade worthwhile is a member of the bomb squad and is nearly twice her age.  Does he have an ulterior motive for helping her?   Read the book to find out!

 

Death of a Blue Movie Star is an enjoyable read, as are all of Deaver’s ‘Rune’ books; however Death of a Blue Movie Star had a totally unexpected twist near the end.

 

I have rated Death of a Blue Movie Star a solid three star read.

 

Other Goodreads Readers have rated Death of a Blue Movie Star an average of 3.49 stars, from 1,282 Ratings and 54 Reviews.

A definiteread.

Death of a Blue Movie Star

can be purchased on-line at 

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

Book Review-Ash-and-Bones

Ash and Bones

by

Mike Thomas

Ash and Bones by Mike Thomas is described as a crime and thriller book.  And to a degree it is.  Before I go any further I must state that this was an audio book, not a read.

I have stated several times that I think a narrator can make or break an audio book.  In Ash and Bones, it was the latter.  I nearly stopped listening to it in the first few chapters as it seemed to be a continual drone with no audible difference between characters. This may have been me not being ready for a new book.  However, I did persevere as nearly three hours in a train gave me plenty of time to concentrate!

Somewhere in the latter third of the book, the narrator says something along the lines of ‘…then McCready said, ‘Has the cat got the biscuits’…..’  That was when I realised I could not hear any difference between the narrator’s voice and McCready’s.  McCready was a lead character, or at least one of them so we heard a lot from him.

Many of the male characters and even female characters also sounded like the narrator.  Also in the latter third an elderly lady was introduced and her voice sounded ‘old’.  From that point I began to notice slight, very slight audible differences, among other characters.

I have seen school teachers reading all characters in their own voice and noticed the glazed look upon the students’ faces.  I strongly believe that each character should be recognisable when the narrator is reading their lines.   Heck, recently I was reading in a Scottish accent…to myself!!

As for the book…it seemed to be a mixture of crime, drugs, murder (I think) and family dramas all rolled into one with no rhyme or reason to any of it.  For example, one chapter ended in London with detectives talking about their case.  The next chapter commenced in Nairobi followed by a jump back to London.  There was no other reference to an African country until near the end.  Similarly, a family drama about two thirds of the way through the book was resolved in the last sentence.

I listen to audio books while driving and so it is impossible to “go back a page…or three” to re-read any tenuous connection there may be between chapters.  It may be a better ‘read’ than the audio version.

I did not like the audio version of Ash and Bones.  I read for enjoyment and the only thing I found enjoyable about Ash and Bones was working out why I found it so boring and lifeless.

Really should have been a one star rating, however, it earned and extra star because I did complete it.

I have rated

Ash and Bones

 Image result for Ash and Bones book review

as aread.

Goodreads readers have rated

Ash and Bones

an average of 3.59 stars from 59 ratings and 28 reviews

Ash and Bones

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-A-Head-Full-of-Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts

by

Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts was one of those books you wonder what possessed you to borrow it….almost from the first paragraph.

However the stubborn streak in me ensured that I persisted for nearly an hour and I was still none the wiser regarding what the plot, if any was about.  The author seemed ramble on and on about the main character and her sister.

Again, I note, this story was being told by the main character and books written in the first person should be avoided in my humble opinion.

The five or six chapters of A Head Full of Ghosts was disjointed to say the least.  However, I have just read the blurb again online and the lead character, fourteen year old, Marjorie apparently displays signs of schizophrenia.  Marjorie’s condition gets worse, a priest try to help out and fifteen years later the younger sister is interviewed about Marjorie’s illness and its effects on the family.

Most of the previous paragraph can be found in the blurb as I did not stick around long enough to get to fifteen years later.  One thing I have noted on the blurb is that Stephen King described the book as ‘…scaring the hell  out of me…’  I am a Stephen King fan but will not be drawn in by blurbs any more.   However, schizophrenia is a scary illness.

I am joining just 2% (429) other Goodreads readers who rated A Head Full of Ghosts in this category.

Maybe I will try it again another day.

I have rated

A Head Full of Ghosts

 Image result for A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

as aread.

My one star certainly runs against the tide of

Goodreads readers have rated

A Head Full of Ghosts

an average of 3.81 stars from 20,754 ratings and 3,324 reviews

A Head Full of Ghosts

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Sinister-Intent

Sinister Intent

(Lexie Rogers #1)

by

Karen M. Davis

Sinister Intent is the first of the Lexie Rogers series, of which there are three…to date.  However, it was the third of the series which I read.  I have stated that Books 2 & 3 can be read as standalone novels and to some extent I will stick by that statement.  In Books 2 & 3 there are often references to Lexie’s past which can be looked upon as simply a bit of background information in those books.  However, Book 1, Sinister Intent, explains those references in more detail and for that reason I was, initially, thinking that this book was not as good as later offerings by Karen M. Davis.  Still, I must confess to eventually enjoying Sinister Intent as much as Deadly Obsession and Fatal Mistake.

Sinister Intent sees Lexie as a new Detective at Sydney’s Bondi Junction after working King’s Cross, in uniform, for many years.  She soon becomes involved, as a Detective, with local bikie gangs, drug deals, murders and murderers.  There are enough twists in the plot to keep this fast paced story moving along as well as its two sequels.  Overall, Sinister Intent was a thoroughly enjoyable story from Ms Davis, and may have gained that elusive extra star had I not previously read books two and three.

My only grumble is that Fatal Mistake, the third Karen M. Davis has published so far, was published in 2017 so I may have to wait a while before Lexie flexes her muscle among the Sydney bikie gangs again.

Almost forgot to mention the narrator, Kate Hosking.  Kate is fast becoming my favourite female narrator alongside Sean Mangan my favourite male narrator.   Whenever I see they have narrated an audio book I will listen to it simply based on their names alone.

 

I have rated

Sinister Intent

 Sinister Intent - Karen M. Davis

as aread.

Goodreads readers have rated

Sinister Intent

an average of 3.88 stars from 121 ratings and 50 reviews

Sinister Intent

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon