Sunday, 1 March 2015

It's all written in the stars

Astrologer detective David Lowell’s most difficult case begins with a man, a briefcase, and a challenge. Dr. Ethan Williamson promises a briefcase containing one million dollars if Lowell can find the twin brother of the doctor’s teenage son in time for a live-saving kidney transplant. Thanks to an exceedingly rare blood type, there are no other viable donors and time is running out for the doctor’s son. 

Aided by his staff—spitfire assistant Sarah, psychic hacker Mort, and bodyguard Andy—Lowell sets out to find the twin and the mother, who have been missing since the birth of the boys. 

As Lowell digs deeper into the investigation, it’s evident he needs legal advice in a case that’s shaping up to be an ethical quagmire. Lowell enlists the legal counsel of his daughter Melinda, an attorney and prize astrology student. 

As more comes to light, will Lowell be able to find the missing twin in time to save Williamson’s son? Or do the stars foresee a more tragic end for this case?

This was an unusual detective novel; unusual, in the fact that the main character uses astrology to help solve cases.

I loved the way the two stories that made up this novel were written and it was clear to the reader which particular case was being discussed at which particular time.  What a maze of twists and turns each story takes although this reader guessed the culprit of the main mystery long before it was revealed.

The characterisation was good (as one would expect of the third novel in the series). This novel definitely grabs your attention.  All the characters are written intelligently, they use their initiative, they are proactive rather than reactive which makes a great change in this genre.

You get really invested in these characters and want to know what happens to them next.

I will definitely be looking out for future novels by this author.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I have rated this 4 stars on Netgalley and 'I loved it' on Amazon (5 stars) and 'It was amazing' on Goodreads (5 stars).

Those 'phones are so easy to hack

A dead hack, a private eye on the run, a sinister billionaire. It's front page news.

Liv Paxton, whipcrack smart chief of London's biggest murder squad, is hunting the men who slaughtered the reporter at the very heart of the celebrity hacking scandal. As the killers claim another victim, Liv discovers the reporter had been tortured by professional interrogators before he died. What secret story was so dangerous that it cost him his life?

Liv quickly finds herself of up against powerful and implacable enemies - on both sides of the law. Enlisting the help of her best friend, newspaper boss Louise Brighouse, Liv enters the world of a mysterious Tartar oligarch and crosses swords with a psychotic underworld kingpin who vows vengeance on her. Her own life is on the line as she peels back layers of deceit and treachery to unveil the most terrifying criminal conspiracy London has ever seen.

Hacked is the first in the series of Liv Paxton crime novels.

What I did enjoy about this book was that it was written by an English author, set in London and had an English accent, a real treat after reading numerous American murder mystery novels (which is by far my favourite genre).

But I think that is where the fabulous end, this novel is inspired by a recent high profile newspaper hacking story that rocked the UK.  The heroine is a foul mouthed ranking officer in the police force.  She is the ubiquitous female rocking her work but having an abysmal track record with men and is wary of starting a new relationship.  This begs two questions (1) why does she fall in love with this unknown entity in such a short space of time; and (2) why would such an intelligent police officer have a newspaper deputy editor for her best friend?

This is a reasonably fast paced novel which, although interesting to read, is not totally satisfying.  In this type of thriller do we really want the politics and intrigue damped down by details of what these people wear when they go our or what they are feeling about Mr X or Mrs Y?

This book had 'great potential' (as Thor said in Stargate SG1) but fell short.  The plot was shallow and some of the dialogue was unrealistic and did we need quite so many swear words.  The descriptive parts interrupted the flow of the narrative too frequently.  Although this is an ARC, there should still be some quality in the work presented, however, in this instance the numerous typesetting, grammatical ad punctuation errors were so off putting.  This included introducing a new helicopter manufacturer.

Due to these issues it was difficult to follow dialogue as it was unclear who was speaking when.  Another problem was the various and varied points of view which was also unsettling as, once again the reader is not clear as to which point of view we are on at any particular moment in time.  Had she novel been more interesting these issues would not have been so glaringly obvious.

Therefore, due to all these issues I cannot recommend this novel.  Next time please publisher’s make sure that the proof is more read worthy.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 Stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Amazon (3 Stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

Yes I read these kinds of books too

Thirty days of discovery...
with her self-esteem at an all-time low following a disastrous relationship Jules just needs a place to hide away, so when her childhood Theo offers her a place to stay she jumps at the chance!

But the handsome, suave and sophisticate man who greets her is unrecognisable as the teen aged nerd she knew ten years ago.  She's out of her depth in Theo's new world, especially when he reveals the nature of the business that has made him a very wealthy man ... Theo owns and runs an exclusive club, a very private members club, catering to clients seeking something extra to spice up their private lives.  But Jules' shock and embarrassment turns to fascination and excitement when Theo gifts her a complimentary thirty day membership.

A short read in on sitting read.  But this book could be made so much more.  We could investigate the back story of both Jules and Theo.

What we do get is rather delicious and Jules definitely get more than she bargains for.  The sex is well described and not too kinky. This book is about a woman finding a place where she can explore her own sexuality without fear of recrimination and in so doing finds her perfect relationship.

The identity of her ‘dream’ lover was pretty obvious though.  There were a couple of twists when it came to dealing with the perfect relationship but again this was fairly obvious.  These characters present so much potential yet some of they just get fleeting treatment.

As said at the start of this review this reader, in particular, would love to see this novella developed into a full length novel so that more time is given to develop the characters and reveal their history and how they came to be where they were at the point of this story.  I would also have loved to learn more about this relationship and how it developed.

Delicious but too short.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 4 stars on Netgalley and 'I liked it' on Amazon (4 stars) and Goodreads (3 stars)