Book Review – Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

This is the third book in the DI Kim Stone series and Angela Marsons has yet again knocked it out of the park. Wow. Just wow. As with the two preceding books you are picked up in that first second of reading and you are gripped by the story until the very last word.

Angela Marsons has an incredible gift when it comes to writing. Her crime thriller skills are second to none and her first book had me hooked on the character of Kim Stome from the start.

This book tells the story of the kidnap of two nine year old girls. The kidnappers are playing a twisted game by asking the parents to enter in to a bidding war for the lives of their children. Kim and her team are assigned the task of finding the girls and bringing them home alive. At any cost.

I really cannot say too much about the story because I don’t want to put spoilers in, but I promise you, if you like crime fiction then you will absolutely adore the amazing Kim Stone books created by the amazing Angela Marsons. This book rocks!!!

A five out of five star read.

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Book Review – The History of Lesbian Hair by Mary Dugger…

Oh dear Ms. Duggar, this has to be one of the lousiest books that I have ever read! I was looking forward to reading this, as the blurb sings out loud and proud that this book was utterly fabulous and hilarious. The only thing that this book is is really, really shite.
I have never not finished a book and managed to finish this pile of festering dog turds. The author lets rip and belittles various groups of people. She says some terrible things and none of it is accurate or fair.
The book is horribly unfair and inaccurate in many situations. The cracks about Christian kids having to touch their dad’s penis for their birthday – really??? 

Child abuse is not fucking funny under ANY circumstances!!! She also fat shames, body shames and is generally nasty and viscous.
The thing that pissed me off the most is her comment about bisexual girls. She said that “Bisexuality is merely a road trip for straight girls.” What the F***? My bisexuality is no road trip for me. I am very settled with who I am and don’t feel like some judgmental woman who has no clue what and who I am and what I do has the right to break down my sexuality.
I’m only giving this book one star as a negative star rating is not available.   

Book Review – Past Mortems by Carla Valentine.

This book jumped out at me while I was committing the dangerous act of browsing Amazon for new books. I have had a fascination with pathology and it’s associated professions for a long time. Possibly well founded by my 15 years as a nurse.
So I took the leap and purchased this book and boy am I glad that I did!
A day in the life of Carla Valentine – curator, pathology technician and ‘death professional’ – is not your average day. She spent ten years training and working as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist : where the mortuary slab was her desk,and that day’s corpses her task list.
Past Mortems tells Carla’s story of those years, as well as investigating the body alongside our attitudes towards death – shedding light on what the living can learn from the dead and the toll the work can take on the living souls who carry it out. Fascinating and insightful, Past Mortems reveals the truth about what happens when the mortuary doors swing shut or the lid of the coffin closes.
It is really rather easy for me to review this book. I love, love, loved it!!! It was incredibly well written by a very well practised and highly intelligent woman. She reveals to us through her gift for writing as well as working with the dead, all the facts about having to work in the death industry. As an outsider, we do not see the intense pressure that these people have to work under. This book peels back layers, much like an APT gently moving the skin of the face and working to enter the skull to reveal the brain. By gradually doing this, Carla shows all of the facts behind the mystery surrounding the work that is done in mortuaries.
We learn from her, many of the fascinating aspects of her profession, from where she started out to where she is now. However, this book also shows just how brave Carla is as she shares with us some of the most painful moments of her life, revealing both her vulnerability and her strength.
I can’t praise this book enough, I really can’t. If you have even a passing interest in the death industry in any of its forms, I urge you to read this book!
A five out of five star read. Thank you Carla!

Book Review – Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the present day by Peter Ackroyd…

In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way – through the story of its gay population. In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of permissiveness and censure.
Ackroydtakes us right into the hidden history of the city, from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century.
The Second World War turned the role of the upside down, but in the sixties, “Lillie Law” still frequented all the haunts, from the coffee bars of Soho to the notorious Biograph – or Bio-Grope- cinema in Victoria. he seventies brought Gay Liberation and disco music, but then the horror of AIDS arrived, and the of Queer fortune turned yet again
Today we live in an era of her increasing openness and era cane and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand, but reminding us of its. Sry real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.
Peter Ackroyd has written a brilliantly well informed book about gar London from Roman times to the present day. He helps us to see just how very prevelant gay sex was in Roman times and that it went from the very top right the way down to the very bottom of society. To realise that the prevelance of Queer activity within London was as prevelant as it was is a real eye opener. You just never realised how much Queer life is interspaced with the life within the city that is considered as straight. Although I have never understood the desire that people have to rabidly stick labels on themselves. I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ve done it too. I came out as Bisexual a while back. One wonders why we all seem to have this desire to label. Anyway, back to discussing this awesome book. The book starts off with discussing the origins of the words gay and Queer. I absolutely love language and the origin of words and how they develop.
Sodomy was a well used term in the eleventh century but was used as an umbrella term that covers many expressions. Ackroyd has a very well researched subject matter and an excellently worded history for Queer culture throughout the ages. By the end of chapter one, you will never look at a radish the same way ever again!
You realise during chapter two that practices that would be viewed as abhorrent by the vast majority of society today where then freely done and not condemned.
The book moves through the ages extremely easily and shows that homosexuality bore little to no prejudice in Roman times, but as the years go by, it becomes very easy to track the rising patter of prejudice throughout the centuries.
We can see the changes, both negative and positive, and how they have shaped society right up to the present day.
A highly informative and very well written book. A five out of five star read.

Book Review… See You In the Cosmos Carl Sagan- Jack Cheng…

An astonishingly moving middle-grade debut about a space-obsessed boy’s quest for family and home.
All eleven-year old Alex wants is to launch his iPod into space. With a series of audio recordings, he will show other lifeforms out in the cosmos what life on Earth, his Earth, is really like. But for a boy with a long-dead dad, a troubled mum, and a mostly-not-around brother, Alex struggles with the big questions.

Where do I come from? Who’s out there? And, above all, How can I be brave?

Determined to find the answers, Alex sets out on a remarkable road trip that will turn his whole world upside down . . .

For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jack Cheng’s debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.

I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a far and honest review.

From the first page, I started to fall in love with Alex a little bit. He reminded me very much of me at that age as I was space obsessed. He is an incredibly erudite 11 year old who has a rather different lifestyle to most 11 year old. From the start, you get the impression that his mother suffers with a mental illness and he is her carer.

As the story unfolds, you come across some incredible characters and they paint a rich series of colours that help to paint Alex’s life a different colour than he ever thought would be possible.

A four out of five star read.

I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK.

Book Review – Final Girls by Riley Sager…

Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead…
They were called The Final Girls.
Three young women who survived unimaginable horror. Three victims of separate massacres grouped together by the press. Three strangers bound by similar traumas.
Lisa. Quincy. Samantha.
When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.

I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This book begins in the past as one of the female protagonists, Quincy is fleeing for her life from the cottage her friends were killed in. The chapter is written very well and it conveys the character and her terror in a really concise way.

As she learns of the death of one of the other “final girls”, Quincy is devastated and realising that her past will once again take over her life. The other final girl, Sam, arrives out of nowhere shortly before they find out that Lisa’s death was not a suicide but was indeed a murder.

A journalist that Quincy hates tries to tell her that all is not as it seems with Sam and that she is lying to Quinn. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust and finds herself spiralling out of control. The memories that Quincy could not recall are starting to filter through the blackness of her mind.

This story is brilliantly written and the twists and turns keep you guessing right up to the end. I was so shocked when the culprit is revealed. I would never have guessed.

Great book. I give it five out of five stars.

I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and Dutton for my copy.

Book Review – The Book of Mirrors by E.O Chirovici.

When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.
The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.

One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.

Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.

But other people’s recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.

I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I loved this book. Right from the start there are intricate plot twists and turns. There are several protagonists that give the story a different spin and you are kept guessing right to the end about just who is really responsible.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I’d definitely read another.

A five out of five star read.

I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and Random House for my copy of the book.

Book Review – Nineteen Eightyfour – George Orwell…

In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

I agreed to buddy read this book with a friend of mine. I have to hang my head in shame and confess to being one of the few people who have never read any of George Orwell’s books. For this reason, and also for the reason that I fight against totalitarian governments and oppression wherever I can. So I began the book with a large dose of enthusiasm.

Sadly, for the first four chapters struck me with crippling boredom. I was finding it very difficult to maintain any interest in the book. I have problems with books. My hands/wrists become very painful after only a short while of reading. So I downloaded the book onto my kobo instead, and wow! The difference has been marked. I’m now captivated by the story.
There is a disturbing aspect to the story when Winston has violent and murderous thoughts about Julia and also the desire to rape her, near to the start of the story. That misogynistic piece of the plot was disturbing and upsetting, but yes, I know that people do think that way and it is saddening.
When Winston and Julia come together, the story shows the lengths that two people in love will go to in order to circumvent their situation and be together.
What this book showed is the way that an oppressive political regime can use fear to control the people and there can be no way out. No hope. This book has painted a picture of lonely people existing in their own bubbles. In joyless lives, terrified to have an independent thought that would lead to the arrival of the thought police.
This dystopian world shows a political party exercising ultimate and total control of its citizens. I don’t want to say more on this vein, as I don’t want to spoil the story.
Orwell has created a grey, colourless world that holds you tightly in its grip and will not let go.
A three out of five star read.

Book Review – Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman #4)

‘I was grateful for having been born human’
There’s going to be trouble. Andy Caplet’s wife goes away, someone is out to get him, and he loses nearly everything in a storm. Amazing both himself and his unhuman friend Inspector Hobbes, he heroically rescues flood victims and uncovers something shocking.

Is Andy being set up for blackmail by the apparently charming young woman who attempts to seduce him, or is something even more sinister afoot? Hobbes certainly believes so, and he’s getting worried.

This is the fourth in Wilkie Martin’s unhuman series of standalone cozy comedy crime fantasies.

I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I had never heard of this writer before. As I am very keen to discover both writers I’ve never come across before and new talent, I was really interested in this book.

The characters are ever so slightly strange at first, especially if this is the first book of the series that you have read. The people in the story are all very eccentric. I was particularly fond of Billy the ninja dwarf. He was great.

It was a little bit hard to wrap my head around the character and place/street names at first. However, the more I realised that that was all a part of the story’s central themes of difference and eccentricity.

The story line was good and there were several plot twists and turns. It was also rather comical in places. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. An excellent story.

A four out of five star read.

I am profoundly grateful to NetGalley and The Witcherley book company for my copy.

A Plea to Former PETA employees — it’s time to rise up.

mom2nomads

This morning I read a blog piece by Nathan Winograd entitled The (Death) Cult of PETA, it is absolutely required reading for anyone who wants to know more about PETA and I hope it spreads far and wide. In it he perfectly lays out not only the arc of damning evidence that brings into the light what actually happens to companion animals behind PETA’s closed doors, but the mindset that enables these events to happen. Please read it — there is not one wasted word in it and it is a vital piece of research and writing.

While there is a lot to say and highlight about Mr. Winograd’s piece, what I want to focus on for the purposes of this blog are the former employees he has spoken to over the years, because there have been many and they are quoted in his piece. The problem is that none…

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