Book Review – The Girl In The Red Coat – Kate Hamer…

Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different – sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter’s strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.

When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel’s disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?

Oh dear. Oh dear me. I really wanted to enjoy this book as I’d heard good things about it from a couple of friends of mine. However the glowing reports I’d received sadly did not match up with my own opinion of this book, which I found a struggle to read. It was that bad.

Am I really the only person in the world that disliked this book? I’m looking through the reviews on Goodreads and the vast majority of them are far too positive, they really are.

This book is based on a tried and tested formula. That of a kidnapped child. Carmel is taken from her over anxious and paranoid mother at a festival by a strange man. One could argue that Beth’s (the mother) paranoia was justified as she does lose her daughter but the author takes this concept way too far.

The story flips back and forth between Beth and Carmel but towards the end of the book becomes woolly and ever harder to follow. How did this couple manage to get a girl with no ID and no passport into the States who have some of the most stringent immigration control laws in the world? It just doesn’t sound believable and that makes it a misnomer in what is supposed to be a believable story.

As the book goes on I get more and more turned off by the religious aspects of the story. Atheist and proud here. I found this story really rather difficult to swallow.

This book is labelled as a psychological thriller. Huh? In what alternate universe is that then? This book is about as much of a psychological tension filled thriller as I am a gold medal ice skater!

The ending is my biggest beef of the whole story though. It is so insubstantial and abrupt it leaves you with a sense of emptiness and feeling incomplete. This book left me feeling cold.

A one out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

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Book Review – The Secret – Katerina Diamond…

Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…

When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?

As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.

And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most…

Wow. Just wow. This is Katerina Diamond’s second book, but the first one that I have read. Her writing style was a little difficult to get to grips with at first due to the way that the way her chapters jump back and that, for me, is a slightly difficult style to follow as for me, I worry about losing parts of the story. Fortunately that didn’t happen and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the whole story without losing any bits of it.

I’m a little bit in love with Imogen Grey. She has some way to go to prove herself to be in the same league as Kim Stone and Helen Grace, but I’m sure she’ll get there.

Diamond is a masterful suspense writer and able to create both evocative and dark suspenseful story arcs and also to keep the reader guessing about just who the bad guys really are until the very last pages.

I’m really not able to say much more about this book without blundering my way into some serious spoilers, so my advice is definitely just read it! It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while.

A five out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

Book Review – The Missing – C.L Taylor…

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.

But should you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

I was really excited having just read and really enjoyed this author’s first foray into the world of young adult fiction to pick up this book and I really wasn’t disappointed. The book is very cleverly written and the use of Snapchat conversations at various points throughout the story was a really clever way to enhance the story being told to the reader.

Those conversations certainly kept me guessing right until very near to the end of the book! I was convinced it was 3 or 4 different people at various points throughout the whole story.

As Claire searches for her son Billy, it becomes clear that she didn’t really know her teenage son at all. Was that to be expected in the family dynamic? Who knows? One could say that we all change as we grow and we feel the need to be less open with our parents, having the need for our own lives. Or one could say that a truly close family will always know each other. *shrug* Who knows?

There were suspicious elements casting a shadow over several of the characters in this story and and at one time or another, they could all have had something to do with Billy’s disappearance. I can’t mention this one particular character as I don’t want to include spoilers in my review. But as I think back to the story, there were clear indicators that this person was hiding something very major.

The book discusses “hardcore” porn. I kind of wish that the writer had just used the correct term and said BDSM. However that is just a minor grumble.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for the writer’s other work.

A four out of five star review.

Be kind to each other.x

Book Review – I Kill – Giorgio Faletti…

The voice on the radio.
The writing, red as blood.
I kill . . .

A detective and an FBI agent embark upon the most harrowing case of their careers as they attempt to track down an enigmatic killer in this relentlessly suspenseful thriller. The killer announces his heinous acts in advance with desperate phone calls and ties his crimes together with songs that point to his victims; he then mutilates them and removes their faces.

Set in Monte Carlo and featuring an international cast of intriguing characters, the hunt for the deranged perpetrator remains gripping and unsettling, possibly even more so, after the killer’s identity is revealed and the detectives must close in on their target before he strikes again.

I had, for some weird reason, I have no idea why, a really sinking feeling when I picked this book up. It wasn’t the length of it. No, I’ve read many 500+ hours age books before. I just couldn’t nail down what it was. Then I started to read it. Oh dear…

By the time that I was 100 pages in, the book’s pace was so turgid and slow that I seriously felt like putting it in the charity box pile and saying goodbye to it. But I am stubborn. I do not like leaving books unfinished. It leaves me with a sense of dissatisfaction and unsettlement. So even though I can see me taking a long time to read this book I will get through it.

Well, so far, all I can say is that the book appears to be set in 2005 and it feels like it is set in the 1970s!!! Everything just feels dated. Even the murder of Allen Yoshida, the computer billionaire. *yawn* I’m beginning to think it’s going to take me longer than a little while to get this book finished I really am.

I’m now about 120 pages from the end and whilst there have been a couple of plot twists that did shock and sadden me a little bit, my mind just has not been able to wrap itself around the tedium involved in this story.

The two main protagonists, Nicolas Hulot and Frank Ottobre do not act like senior police officers with years and years of experience. OK, Frank could be excused up to a certain degree because of what had happened to him, but I honestly just wanted to reach through the pages and throat punch the both of them to see if that would shake some life into them.

It’s honestly a real shame as the story itself had the potential to be absolutely brilliant! But I just couldn’t get into it at all. This is very unusual for me as I can normally find at least two characters and a couple of threads of story line to give me hope. There was Barbara though. I identified with her very much for reasons of my own.

As the end of the book gets nearer, I’m discovering that I’m not excited to find out how it ends. I’m just excited for it to end. Isn’t that sad?

Now I’m really cross. I’ve just read a paragraph where Faletti mentions “Pagan idolatry” as being responsible for the evils committed by the “bad guy”. How DARE you Mr Faletti? Pagans are not evil and this continued misrepresentation by authors and by the press simply is not acceptable. Christians are capable of far greater evil the pagans ever have been!

Right, I’ve actually finished this awful excuse of a book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that I have found as dreary and uninspiring as this one. At times it felt like the words were superglue and my eyes were constantly sticking and having to be dragged over the sentences. I am quite literally only giving this book one star because I can’t give it none. Do yourself a favour. Put it down and read something else instead.

A one out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

Irrelevant Me…

I’m irrelevant. I don’t matter. Nobody sees me. Nobody hears me. Nobody wants me. I may as well be invisible. My soul is just dying inside. Nobody tells me anything. I’m just… nothing. Irrelevant…

My soul bleeds… I scream into the void where my emotions used to be, tensing every part of me, waiting and hoping for some kind of response that will show to me that I am destined to feel more than this soul drenching pain that controls me…

I try to reach out… I reach out a hand, an arm, but before even my little finger becomes extended, she arrives. I should have known that she is on her way. I should have listened to the white noise in my head trumpeting her arrival. She grabs my arms behind my back and then she pushes me kicking and screaming into that cage she keeps for me inside the corner of my mind. Once she has me safely locked away, she is free to run the show…

Once she has this total control she begins to stamp around inside my head and the white noise turns down…

All I hear is her. Telling me that my ex was right. I’m fat, I’m stupid, I’m useless, I’m ugly and so many other insults. Then she tells me that all the people who love me don’t really love me. That they are only with me out of pity and that they will leave me soon. She screams out and says vile things to the people near me. I bang my hands on the bar of my cage and scream, trying to get people to hear me but they don’t. They only hear her. The bitch is very clever, she really is…

I’m so scared that she will get so vicious and nasty that people will think “Screw that!” and just walk away from me. After all, who wants to spend their life with a crazy, fat cripple?

I’m so terrified that I will lose my family, every time they leave the house panic sets in and she is able to take control again.

I fight every single damn day to be even a little bit normal. I fight for my family to love me.

Stigmatised by my favourite magazine

Stunningly written piece by a very good friend of mine regarding the damage done to the work that mental health groups and charities to improve the reputation of those of us within society that suffer with a mental health condition. I messaged Psychologies magazine via their FB page and was ratio and polite. I received NO response from them. That is how little they care about the people whom they are stigmatising even further and damaging their reputation even further down the road or almost irreparable damage without ever. Being mentally ill is not shameful or scary. It’s jus us. Who we are. That is why we stand up for those of us who can’t. This was my reply to Northernbird’s original blog post.

“That article literally made my blood boil. Suzy said that she had edited it? How the hell did that bullshit get past her? In other words, she didn’t read it properly and just sent it straight for publishing as it will benefit the magazine’s circulation.
When I left them a one star review on their FB page, which I WISH more people would do, they left me a patronising message trying to tell me what BPD was!!! Erm… I actually have BPD you bunch of inbred dickwads.
Yes, I am angry and hostile towards this magazine and I really couldn’t give a flying fuck if anyone disagrees with me. With their shitty “editing” and desperation to sell more copies, they have bad mouthed every single person with a mental illness. Not just those of us with BPD. We must be one voice and show just how wrong Psychologies magazine are!”

Northern Bird

Far from being click bait, the title of this post is 100% true.

Psychologies is a women’s magazine which focuses on personal development and well being. It publishes articles and dossiers on mindfulness, career and relationship advice as well as discussing anxiety and depression. Sounds great doesn’t it? I thought so to, which is why I subscribed to the magazine at the beginning of the year.

Roll on the August 2018 edition.

Capture

This month’s 18 page dossier is all about restoring your energy and how you can rid your life of energy vampires. That’s me.

Confused?

Let me explain.

I have a mental illness, Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a disabling illness which affects every aspect of my life. Which according to this dossier means I suck all of the energy from my peers, partner and everyone around me. This is not OK.

I have included the email I sent…

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