Doll House by John Hunt

Doll House by John Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

‘….and I would of gotten away with it too, had it not been for that dog and you pesky kids!’

Ha! This came to mind on finishing Doll House. It felt very ‘Scooby-Doo’ as it headed to the conclusion. An 18+ version may I add, because it was sick and very gory in places. Scabby blood clot anyone? And a side order of ear maybe.

So, 2 stars? It didn’t deserve 1 star, as there were a fair few bits I really enjoyed and I think 1 star is too harsh for this.

The first quarter of the book wasn’t written very well. It seemed that the author struggled to get the momentum going, using very basic language and descriptions.

As the story became established, and the action got going, John Hunt found his feet. He’s rather good at creating a dark, tense scenario. I had feelings of foreboding and high tension at regular intervals, which is my reason for finishing this.

I thought I knew who the serial killer was, and prepared myself for the ultimate anticlimatic end ever, when, I was proved wrong! And for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, it still felt a tad disappointing, but it pleased me that I was wrong. Had I of been right, it would have received just the 1 star.

I found this book difficult to review, as I always feel bad about not really liking an ARC. I am always thankful for the opportunity, however, reviews are personal and honest, and this is all I can find to say about this one. This book was initially heading for my DNF shelf, but I’m glad I persevered as there were snippets of good horror writing amongst all that naff!!

I’d like to thank Black Rose Writing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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The Girl Before by J P Delaney

The Girl Before: The addictive global bestseller by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You’re sent an ARC of The Girl Before by J P Delaney. On finishing, did you feel that it was a unique story experience, with exceptional twists and turns, making it an absolute must-read in this genre?

a) Yes [ ]
b) No [ ]
c) Maybe [x]

I don’t know about this book. Part of me liked it very much, a big part. But I’ve got some niggles with it, and in writing this review, it might help me understand my feels a bit.

Liked

The state-of-the-art home where our two protagonists lived. It was a breathtakingly impressive place, which had all the gizmos and gadgets cleverly hidden away to create a perfect minimalistic living space. I’d have to break some rules to live there though. Books and cushions.

Characters with unlikable traits. Yeah, I do like that. I enjoy their flawed and twisted personas and trying to fathom them out.

The subtle hint of kink. Yep, these were not vanilla folk. The author brought just enough to give it some sizzle, without too much detail. Some things are best left to the readers imagination.

Learning about Japanese cuisine. There’s far more to it than sushi and friggin hot wasabi. (See also ‘Disliked’)

How the two MC’s POV’s and stories merged as the story progressed.

Disliked

The first 30-40%. I just couldn’t get to grips with it! Those two girls, both with simple names, Jane and Emma. I couldn’t for the life of me distinguish between them initially. I resorted to having a scrap of paper by my side whilst reading, with ‘Jane, – present, Emma, – past’ scribbled on it so I knew whose voice I was hearing. It’s mad, it could of been just me, but I really had issues with those names. Both four letters, both very British, both rather samey. I dunno. *shrugs*

It had a half-way-through-major-eyeball-rolling-moment. It was predictable and typical.

Learning about Japanese cuisine. Urghhhh! Is that shit for real? No way. Nope. Stay away from my mouth.

So, my conclusion is, that, yes, it was a unique story experience, with twists that kept me engrossed until the end, but it wasn’t sensational.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Inspector Hobbes and the Bones

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones by Wilkie Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh deary, deary me, I’ve gone against everything I believe in. The Order of Which One Should Read a Series.

‘Call me an ambulance’. ‘You’re an ambulance’.

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones is book 4, and I never start off in the middle of a series, let alone at the end of one. (Although, I’d hope that Wilkie Martin is penning another!)

Anyway, seeing this on NetGalley, (albeit, last year, me bad, sorry NG, I’m on it) I have to own up, it was the cover that inially intrigued me. The artwork was zingy and eye~catching, the blurb sounded like an easy~going, light read, and daft humour tickles me pink if the mood takes, and this is exactly what I fancied this week.

I’m not a Cozy Mysteries kinda girl, and I don’t really do Fantasy either, but this is a Cozy Crazy Crime Fantasy Comedy Mystery (CCCFCM for short) which just kept me entertained from start to finish.

It was extremely British, with puns galore, slapstick~style action, and dog characters!! Yes dogs!! Well, there are humans and the…..ummm, unhumans as well. But my favourite characters were definitely Dregs and Mimi. To see an animal relationship blossom is something I’ve never read about before and it was so lovely. And very funny.

The characters and place names!!! From pubs, to shops and street names, I sighed, whispered ‘oh dear’ to myself, and quietly smiled with cheesy, guilty pleasure.

One of the two MC’s is Andy Caplet. A hapless, clumsy, wally of a man, who’s pretty much outta luck all the time it seems. And, of course, Hobbes, a Police Inspector of questionable age and ethics, whose character I’d like to know more about. He has strange abilities and strength. I, for one cannot drink scalding hot tea or break a padlock with my bare hands. Reading book 1 will hopefully give him some background to answer a few of my questions. Who or, what is he?

It was all a bit silly, but the silliness was balanced with a nice little mystery that was cute and clever. Unlike poor Andy.

Every character was superbly written, you do get some funny types in these small English villages, I can tell you. Anyway, I need silly sometimes. There comes a time when reading this stuff suits me just fine.

So, on finishing this, I’ve learned two things, one, I need to read books 1~3 when my next non~serious urges arrive. And two, crime and dodgy shenanigans can always wait whilst there’s a good hearty meal to be had. Who could possibly solve anything on an empty stomach?

Wilkie Martin has my kind of humour, and his style certainly won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. A proper bonkers CCCFCM. I’m off to make that a new Goodreads shelf.

I’d like to thank the author, Wilkie Martin, the publisher, The Witcherley Book Company and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Need some time to erm…..digest this! It was horrible. In a highly entertainingly sick kinda way!

So, Cold Calling is a short and not at all sweet story of a psychopathic white-collar employee who basically looses the plot.

God help you if he calls to offer you life insurance and you piss him off.

With elements of American Psycho (the movie I’ve seen, the book is TBR) this book is absolutely gross. It’s sick and twisted and, for me, extremely enjoyable. Does that make me sick and twisted too?! I think not, because I could never write a story like this and the content is shocking. On various occasions I think the author went too far.

The writing style was very British and raw, with countless laugh out loud moments. Even the horrific gore had proper comedy overtones which I enjoyed immensely.

This is not a book for the easily freaked out, or for those of a nervous disposition. It would disgust and appal many readers. This is blood and guts at its very best. Or worst.

Cold Calling ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am left wondering what will happen to our protagonist.

I’d like to thank the author, Haydn Wilks for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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