Book Review – Holding by Graham Norton…

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother-of-two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.
So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was really looking forward to this book. I adore Graham Norton.
The story paints a really vivid image of life in a quiet Irish town. The quiet images that Norton’s words create are vividly embedded in my mind. The words are so powerful that the pictures spring to life. You feel like you know each one of the characters personally.
The story unfurls slowly and gently and gives you a sense of actually being there and seeing it all happen. I loved it. Well done Mr Norton!
A four out five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and to Hodder and Stoughton for my copy.

Book Review – Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson…

Soho, 1965.
In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.
When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate.
But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.
Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love.
For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own…
I was given an ARC by NetGalley in return for a fair and honest opinion.
Anna is a strong protagonist. She is feisty and intelligent and she loves what she does.
Iolanthe’s disappearance has her so concerned that when the police fail to produce any leads, she becomes determined to find out what has happened to the fragile starlet. The police however are less than happy with her amateur detective efforts and tell her to stop.
The story jerks along and none of the chapters really inspire my thirst to know more.
The ending is also a little disjointed and doesn’t really answer half the questions you have.
A two out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for my copy.

Book Review – Swing Time by Zadie Smith…

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either… Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from north-west London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This is my first Zadie Smith book. Never having read her work before, I was really looking forward to reading it as I love discovering new authors. It really gives me a thrill.
I honestly didn’t know what to make of it at the start. One of my bookish friends asked me and I honestly couldn’t tell her. Other than it started off with a woman in an apartment with a dancer. *shrug* The beginning of this book does not inspire me at all, I’m sorry.
I’m finding this book so boring and difficult to read. *sigh*
That sadly did not change. The story was boring and the characters wooden and uninteresting. I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book. Sorry. 
A one out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley for my copy.