Goodreads Reviews

Murder at the Mill by M B Shaw

Murder at The Mill by M.B. Shaw

33143064
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

‘She was a riot of contradictions: quiet but pushy, reserved but passionate, observant yet refreshingly slow to judge.’

Reviewing Murder at the Mill is also going to be a ‘riot of contradictions’ because I’ve gone from rating it a one star, ‘this sucks’ read to a near on four star ‘ooooh I need some answers page-turner’ read.

It was also a riot of Post-It notes, as you can see here!

IMG_2469

I have never felt so conflicted about rating a book as this one, I shall try my upmost to review this honestly and fairly without too much snark.

So, Murder at the Mill is a cosy mystery set in Hampshire, England, ‘perfect for fans of Midsomer Murder and Agatha Christie’. Apparently.

To try and fathom out my star rating, I’m going to have to see how this review pans out, as I still haven’t decided my final decision even at this point.

The plot itself deserves a solid 3 stars, possibly even 3.5 because the ‘whodunnit’ element was really very good. This, along with characters whose closet skeletons were being discovered left, right and centre was what kept me going.

The characters, in which there were many, all helped to build an intriguing mystery with their dodgy pasts and poisonous personas. A 3 star rating for sure here is deserving as I particularly liked Billy, the black sheep of the family. He was portrayed well in a sinister and menacing way. The main protagonist, Iris Grey was my least favourite, her quirkiness and terrible taste in clothes became rather tiresome as the story progressed.

The writing style. Oh god, this is where it gets awkward.

SIMILES. SIMILES. SIMILES. SIMILES. SIMILES. SIMILES.

I am so DONE with the countless, terrible, TERRIBLE similes in this book.

…’the spindly tree branches swayed and shivered pathetically in the wind like the starved limbs of concentration camp prisoners pleading for escape.’ (WHAT? WHY? Editor, why? Awful. Truly awful.)

…’tore at the wrapping on his gift like a starving child clawing at a bag of rice.’ (No. Just no.)

And what’s with all these animals? After the first two dozen, I was destined for eye-rolling moments throughout.

…’like a smug cockerel.’ (Smug! Whaaat?!)

…’like a wounded fox.’

…’listening to the satisfying crack as they shattered beyond repair like the bones of tiny mice.’

…’as excited as two piglets on speed.’ (What the..?! 😂)

giphy-downsized-large.gif

…’staggering around like a newborn fawn.’

…’impale them like lambs on a spit.’

…’attached himself like a louche limpet…’

I could go on, it gets worse. Describing someone’s anger pouring out …’like pus from a lanced boil’  was the final straw really. It was pretty damn dire.

Ok, maybe there’s a bit of snark here, but I just can’t help myself! Tell me, Ms Shaw, were you sponsored by all those brands you name-dropped throughout your book? Tesco, Smarties, Heinz, Next, H&M, Zara, Cath Kidston, blah, blah, blah. So much was described based on the brand alone, and it irritated the hell out of me.

It’s also funny how so many different characters used the term ‘whatnot’ in their conversations. Must be a Hampshire village thing.

By now, you can probably tell why I’m still debating about this books star rating. My main problem is I really enjoyed the story, it hooked me in and I was overall impressed by the final revelations and conclusion. There was some pretty good red herrings in there too. But for me to rate a book above 3 stars, the writing style has to satisfy me. Towards the end I started to laugh and groan at some of the descriptive text and it took away my enjoyment and marred the seriousness of the story.

After all is said and done, I’ve decided, I’m giving Murder at the Mill 2 stars. And strangely, I would indeed read another cosy mystery about Iris Grey and her irksome sleuthing. Even if it was just to spot all the awful, and sometimes unintentionally comical similes that are scattered ‘like dandruff on one’s shoulders’ throughout the book.

dandruff-on-shoulder.jpg

Thank you to the author, the publisher Orion Books and Goodreads for hosting a giveaway for which I was lucky enough to win!

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Goodreads Reviews

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

36276653

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mini Review

I can without a doubt see why Elmet by Fiona Mozley was nominated for an award. The way in which this story was written had the power and presence of an orchestra. Sweet, sweet music, ambling along at perfect pace, flowing and describing and setting the scene. The characters were the boom from the cymbals, the mighty beat of drums, and in contrast, the delicate poignancy of a triangle.

As you can probably tell, this story totally GOT ME. Such simplicity, and yet, it was INCREDIBLE.

Elmet is contemporary fiction at its best. This story has a heart, and it made mine beat in unison with it.

*Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley who provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.*

View all my reviews

Goodreads Reviews, Psycho -Thrill

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

29481890

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Devil’s Work was an enjoyable reading experience with a clever plot and interesting characters.

I seem to keep choosing books that have a dual narrative, past and present events being woven together to create mystery and questions a-plenty. It’s not on purpose, but it’s such a common style that I’m finding it hard to find a book that doesn’t have this! Don’t get me wrong, it is something I like and it worked incredibly well here, but with my next book choice, I’m hoping it doesn’t have this because I’m getting a bit fed up with this concept. (For now).

Mark Edwards uses clear, concise language that tells a quite complex tale that I could follow without any confusion. Sometimes these multiple time lines in books muddle up my brain and I often find I’m back-tracking to help boost my understanding. That was not the case here, Edwards created brilliant characters that I could clearly visualise, whether they were in present day or past.

Only a three star rating though, well, let me explain. I think I’m reading too many psychological thrillers at the moment. It’s one of my favourite genres and I’m becoming rather difficult to please. I’m also getting too good at predicting outcomes, hidden agendas, red herrings and sussing out the unreliable narratives. I’m looking for more WTF’s and, I hate to say it, but I’m getting a little bit bored of this genre!! 😮

The Devil’s Work is the first book I’ve read by this author and I will undoubtedly read more from him in the future based on my enjoyment levels.

Overall, a good, but sadly, not gripping read.

Thank you to the author, Mark Edwards, the publisher, Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

View all my reviews

Goodreads Reviews

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

36269325

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time wavers and retreats at Bridlemere, coughing and shambling. Here is history mutely putrefying and elegance politely withering.

Two weeks it took me to read The Hoarder by Jess Kidd. Two weeks of beautiful, poetic writing, which ambled along at a pace slower than I normally would like. That said, the speed at which this story unfolds was exactly how it should be. I devoured every sentence, re-read many paragraphs, I wasn’t itching for a conclusion or big reveal, I was deep in the moment, sucked in by incredible writing.

I loved everything about the story, the writing style, the characters, the humour, the sadness and poignancy. Whilst reading, I felt as though I was transported to Bridlemere, the aromas of a once grand mansion seeped into my senses, the quirky characters had my undivided attention, and the paranormal elements added an unusual and often amusing twist.

Sometimes the wind dropped down and hid behind the dunes, sometimes it sent playful handfuls of sand skipping. Sometimes it raised colossal storms to scour your arse all along the strand.

I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve read anything with Irish protagonists before, if I have, it’s gone unnoticed or forgotten. The sometimes slightly crass dialogue brought smirks and smiles, just breaking up the flow enough to give it an edge, perfectly placed, no profanity for the sake of it.

The Hoarder is faultless, I am finding it difficult to review in all its perfection. I didn’t read too much about it prior to starting it, and went in blind. I just had a funny feeling it would blow me away. And it did just that.

Huge thanks to the author, Jess Kidd, the publisher, Canongate Books Ltd and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Lisa's Book Life, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday [Twisted and Questionable Edition 18+]

$(KGrHqN,!lEE2ETsMqzrBNrI6cMk3g___35

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created over at 👉 The Broke and the Bookish.👈

Go check out their blog when you’ve got a minute, it’s fabulous!

mF1qlLjeY1b-eBfVlNBaGrA (1)

For my Top Ten Tuesday post I’m going to list some of my most twisted and disturbing reads that I have come across over the years. There’s a few different genres here, ranging from horror and erotica, to crime and religion. It’s quite a mixed bag, but please BE WARNED, THESE BOOKS ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR THE EASILY OFFENDED!!

(Click on the pics to take you to their Goodreads pages!)

The Dark

The Dark by James Herbert

My first EVER horror book. I was 13 years old and utterly blown away by this. (As were many of the characters in the book, but in a VERY different way!)

Satanic Bible

The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey 

This book is strangely mesmerising! LaVey’s ideology was the perfect partner back in the day when I’d first discovered Black Sabbath, Slayer and Megadeth! It was THE go-to book for us metal-heads at school circa 1988. Not only is it pretty controversial, we also had it confiscated so many times by the deputy head! Oh Mr Ellis, you were such a spoil sport!

19422378

Public Disgrace at the Club by La Marchesa

Ok, this really is a dirty little book. At 39 pages this Kindle smut was outrageous! It was free, I was bored, and I’m not at all embarrassed by my choice of short story. Although I couldn’t read it in public, that would be a disgrace. Obviously. Next….

33847005

Sweetpea by C J Skuse

Oh how I love you my Sweetpea, one of my best of 2017. (Sounds like I’m starting an ode….) It’s offensive, sweary, bloody, violent and genius. Read it. That’s an order!


33837693

Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

This is just so wrong on so many levels.  I gave it a 4 star review. Pretty sick stuff!

 

 

22287

 

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Deranged isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

See also : Barmy
See also : Genius


15714590

The Book of Paul by Richard Long

I have never read ANYTHING like this and I don’t think I ever will again. This is possibly the most intelligently grotesque horror story I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on. I can’t unsee some of the scenes, absolutely not for the squeamish. A five star book.

818118

In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Poignant, candid, and so brutal. This one was my first ever book written by a Japanese author. It certainly opened my eyes! I’d love to visit Tokyo, and thankfully, reading this hasn’t put me off!

 

 

29209195

Wind Up Toy by David Owain Hughes

A quote from my Goodreads review says enough about this one really;

I need to clean my thoughts with an electric sander and brush my tongue with Colgate mixed with hydrochloric acid. Although I do rather like this bad taste.” 

I gave it 4.5 stars! I guess I’m a bit twisted and questionable sometimes! 😂

 

12541075

Captive in the Dark by C J Roberts

A very dark erotica with a very disturbing subject. I was testing some reading boundaries with this one. Although it had abuse, kidnapping and sexual violence as it’s main subject, it was incredibly well written, but I don’t think I’d want to read anything like this again.

 

 

Well, there we have it! My Top Ten Tuesday with a twist and leaving you with questions perhaps! (This girl reads some weird shit, I know!) When it comes to books, I like to test those bookworm boundaries, after all, wouldn’t it be boring if we all just read Harry Potter and fluffy romance. (I’ve not read HP or fluff, just for the record.)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and tell me, IN CONFIDENCE what your twisted reads are in the comments below. I won’t tell a soul. Promise. 😉