Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid #BookReview #MiniReview

Title: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Date Published: 7th March 2019

Publisher: Hutchinson

Genre: Historical/literary fiction

Description:

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation. Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They sold out arenas from coast to coast.

This is the story of their incredible rise: the desire, the rivalry – and the music.

Then, on 12 July 1979, Daisy Jones and the Six split up.

Nobody knew why. Until now…

Review:

I have seen some fantastic reviews for Daisy Jones & the Six since it’s release, so when I spotted it in the library I thought I’d give it a go even though it’s not my usual genre.

What I loved about the book was it was written as if it was a real documentary about a seventies rock band. While I was reading it, it almost convinced me they were, in fact, a real band.

I know little about seventies music or the whole scene (bit before my time) but Taylor Jenkins Reid created this hedonistic atmosphere of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ rock that I found entirely believable. 

Honestly, would I say I liked any of the characters? Not really, but there was just something about them that fascinated me and made me want to read on and see what happened.

A little trigger warning/spoiler here, this book contains themes of drug and alcohol abuse, along with abortion, which the author handles sensitively, but it was realistic too, which at times was a little uncomfortable to read. 

Daisy Jones & The Six is an original and captivating read that I honestly thought about for days after finishing it.

About The Author:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her newest novel, Malibu Rising, is out now. She lives in Los Angeles.

You can follow her on Instagram @tjenkinsreid

#BookReview Body Language by A.K. Turner #LibraryLoan

Title: Body Language by A.K Turner

Publisher: Zaffre

Date Published: 26th November 2020

Genre: Thriller

Description:

THE DEAD CAN TALK – WE JUST NEED TO LISTEN . . .

Camden mortuary assistant Cassie Raven has pretty much seen it all. But this is the first time she’s come face to face with someone she knows on the slab. Someone she cared about. Her friend and mentor, Mrs E.

Deeply intuitive and convinced that she can pick up the last thoughts of the dead, Cassie senses that there must be more to the ruling of an accidental death. Is her grief making her see things that aren’t there, or is her intuition right, and there’s something more sinister to her friend’s death than the ME thinks? Harbouring an innate distrust of the police, Cassie sets out to investigate and deliver justice to the woman who saved her life.

For fans of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series and Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan, Cassie Raven is the edgy new forensic sleuth on the block.

Review:

I saw so many fantastic reviews for this book at the end of last year when I saw it was on loan through my library app, (because you know I don’t have enough books to review), I thought I had to read that!

Body Language is an unusual crime thriller with a paranormal twist. First, we have our sleuth Cassie Raven, who’s a mortuary assistant rather than the usual either pathologist or police officer. Then the author added a bit of the supernatural, in the form of the dead speaking to Cassie, which made it a unique and memorable read.

 Cassie and Flyte are fantastic characters who on the surface you think are very different. Cassie is a little Gothic with tattoos, piercings and a habit of talking to the dead bodies she looks after. She’s also a bit of a free spirit, not letting anyone or anything hold her down. Flyte on the other hand has just moved to London and is finding it a little hard to fit in. She is very uptight and a little OCD. The pair together was the perfect foil for each other, and I really warmed to both characters (although it took me a little longer to warm to Flyte!).  

There was a lot going on in this book, as we have mysteries but these were also wrapped up alongside Cassie and Flyte’s day to day which got a bit much to keep straight in my head but didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story overall.

I really hope this turns out to be a series and I look forward to reading more from these characters!

About The Author (taken from goodreads):

AKA Anya Lipska 

A K Turner likes to create memorable characters, throw them into unusual settings, and add a hefty dose of murder and a twisty-turny plot. Her latest book, Body Language, introduces a new kind of forensic heroine – a crime-solving Goth-girl mortuary technician who talks to the dead, a character first launched in two crime shorts aired on BBC Radio 4. A K’s previous series, written under the pen name Anya Lipska, starred a London-based Polish fixer who’s happy to crack heads to solve crimes – which saw her being selected for Val McDermid’s prestigious New Blood Panel at Harrogate Crime Festival in 2012.

A K (aka Ali) lives in East London where she is writing more mortuary-set mysteries. Her day job is producing TV documentaries on true crime and science topics. And just for light relief she is training to be a City of London guide…

Read more about A K’s books over at www.anyalipska.com where you can sign up to her newsletter for news and giveaways.

#BookReview The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Title: The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Publisher: Avon

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

Review:

I’ve seen some great reviews of The Christmas Killer and I saw it was available through my library, I really had to read it.

As I’ve said before in my reviews I don’t read a lot of Christmas themed books but having read some good short mystery/Christmas themed stories I really think I’ve been missing out!

James and his wife Annie moved back to Annie’s hometown after a threat forces them to move from London. They think the small village of Kirby Abbey is the perfect place to hide out, until threatening Christmas cards turn up and bodies start to drop…

The Christmas Killer is a police procedural which gripped me from the start and really had me turning those pages!

Both James and Annie were really likeable well drawn characters as were the rest of the supporting cast. My only issue with Annie is she was a little annoying at times.

I love the setting of the small village with the threat of a disastrous snow storm that could cut them off from the rest of the world and trap them with a killer. It reminded me of those old mysteries where you’re trapped in a manor house or such with a killer and everyone’s a suspect. 

I would say this novel verges more on the cozy side than the usually gritty hard hitting police procedural. I’m not complaining about this, I love a cozy, but as with some stories like this it takes a bit of time to get going.

The Christmas Killer is an enjoyable whodunnit and I’m very much looking forward to more from this author!

About The Author:

Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast – providing him with the best of both worlds!

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara #BookReview #TrueCrime

Title: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

Date Published: 27th February 2018

Genre: True Crime

Description:

WINNER OF THE GOOD READS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018

THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2018

The masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer – the serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade – from the late Michelle McNamara.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark offers a unique snapshot of suburban West Coast America in the 1980s, and a chilling account of the wreckage left behind by a criminal mastermind. It is also a portrait of one woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth, three decades later, in spite of the personal cost.

Review:

So I’m dipping my toe into true crime, something that has always appealed to me but I’ve never got around to doing. I saw that this book had been made into a documentary so I thought I’d try it.

I got my copy from the library which was from the original publication but I believe they’ve done an updated version to include what happened after it was published.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is an unflinching and at times utterly terrifying look at the Golden State Killer.

The Golden State Killer is not one I’ve ever heard of before, probably because a) his crimes happened before I was born in a different country and b) up until recently he never been caught. 

Michelle McNamara’s writing really brought this book to life, making you feel like you were actually there which is why I’m going to warn you not to read this at night like I did, it gave me nightmares! She also put a good chunk of herself in there too, laying her obsession bare for you to read.

Unfortunately you can tell, particularly in the last half of the book where Michelle McNamara didn’t get to finish the novel, the writing ends up losing a little bit of the spark that initially drew me in.

After reading this I’m going to watch the TV show and I’m really looking forward to it, it’s just a shame that Michelle McNamara didn’t get to see how much of a success her work has become.

About The Author:

Michelle McNamara was a screenwriter, journalist, and true crime writer. She was the founder of the blog “True Crime Diary,” which covers lesser-known crimes and cold cases. In 2005, she married comedian Patton Oswalt. They had one daughter together, born in 2009.  She died in 2016.