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

 

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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

 

Book Review-Darkness-My-Old-Friend

Darkness, My Old Friend

by

Lisa Unger

Darkness, My Old Friend, features another teenage girl at the centre of the story.  Fifteen year old Willow and her mother have moved to The Hollows.  Willow is short on friends with her best/main/only friend not all that interested in attending school or authority figures.  In fact her bestie’s attitude does not help Willow who is a rebellious teenager wanting to be back home in Manhattan.

The story revolves around solving the disappearance of a local woman, without a trace, nearly twenty years earlier and which has now become a very old case.

Willow; a retired policeman (who is doing odds jobs for neighbours); a women who has acquired physic powers after an accident; some psychological domestic abuse in another family; and a son wanting to know why his mother left him all those years ago gives you an idea of the plot.

As in any good story all character are intertwined with each other’s lives; both then and now.  As usual, I will not give away any more of the plot than I need to.  Darkness, My Old Friend is well worth reading if you enjoy this genre of novels.

I think Darkness My Old Friend just manages a four star rating.

 

I have rated

Darkness, My Old Friend

 Image result for darkness my old friend lisa unger

as aread.

Goodreads readers have rated

Darkness, My Old Friend

an average of 3.69 stars from 4,276 ratings

and 486 reviews

Darkness, My Old Friend

 

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Fatal-Mistake

Fatal Mistake

(Lexie Rogers #3)

by

Karen M. Davis

Fatal Mistake was the second of the Lexie Rogers series by Karen M Davis I have read/listened to.  However, it is the third of a, so far, trilogy, and could be read as a stand-alone novel.  References to incidents and prior experiences which have shaped Lexie’s personality are minimal.  I did commencing listening to Book 1 of the Trilogy and first scene was the most talked about incident in the second and third books.  So you may want to commence with Book 1.  Not necessary though.

Fatal Mistake sees Lexie working undercover to bring down a drug ring while trying to avoid being assassinated herself.  Throw in a crooked colleague who thinks the high life drug dealers live is the best lifestyle ever, and you have an idea of the plot.

Lexie’s Book 2 love life is still strong although she and Josh are in different cities, or states, for the duration of this novel.  This long distance love affair does stretch their resolve at times.  However, this is mainly due to work colleagues who have unrequited crushes on each of them.

As usual I am going to mention the narrator; Kate Hosking does a marvellous job of narrating this book.  A full five stars for Kate narration. It was a pleasure to listen to her voice and I look forward to listening to more of Kate’s work and also more of Karen Davis’ novels.

I have rated

Fatal Mistake

 Image result for Fatal+Mistake

as a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

Fatal Mistake

an average of 4.12 stars from 42 ratings

and 19 reviews

Fatal Mistake

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Black-Prince

Black Prince

(Cliff Hardy series)

by

Peter Corris

 

Peter Corris has produced another easy listening Cliff Hardy novel complete with the good, the bad, and a plot that keeps moving and involves drugs and racism.

Mention must also be made of Peter Hosking who does an excellent job of narrating the Cliff Hardy series.

******

I think

Black Prince

 Image result for Black Prince corris

is a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

 Black Prince

 an average of 3.67 stars from

66 ratings and 10 reviews.

 

Black Prince

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Kraken-Rising

Kraken Rising

(Alex Hunter #6)
by

Greig Beck

 

I once read an author’s review of his book, set in Antarctica, in which he stated that a continent largely unexplored could be the setting for all manner of books.  It may have been Alex Hunter’s first visit to the Antarctic continent.  I do not remember.

Kraken Rising has been sitting on my reading list for some time now and I am not sure why I did not read it at an earlier date.  Kraken Rising has all the pace and intrigue as any of Greg Beck’s previous books.

With the world on the brink of nuclear war it is up to Arcadian and his team to save the day.  And it is not only the world Arcadian is trying to save this time round, it is also the mother of his son who has been sent to Antarctica find Arcadian who is of prime concern.

Likening the monster to modern day animal was a stroke of genius and I don’t think I will ever go near the beach again.  Cephalopods, at least the octopus, do have a beak and when this monster’s beak came chasing our heroes…well, just close your eyes and imagine.

Throw in reports of missing ships, boats and sailors in Australia’s Bass Strait, a Strait which has never been more than a forty-minute drive from home, and we have enough facts to substantiate another great plot.

******

I think

Kraken Rising

 Image result for Kraken Rising

is a

read.

In 2017,

Goodreads readers have rated

Kraken Rising

 an average of 4.24 stars from

531 ratings and 54 reviews.

I am also surprised that so few have bothered

to rate and review this novel.

 

Kraken Rising

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon