Friday, 26 November 2021

Book Review | The Inheritance by Gabriel Bergmoser | prettylittlewriter

Thank you to Faber & Faber books for sending me a copy to review! 

Synopsis
Maggie is hiding out in a sleepy North Queensland tourist town, trying to stay under the radar, when she stumbles across a dangerous drug cartel. Anyone else might back away shaking their head, pretend they hadn't seen anything, keep quiet, even though people are getting hurt. But Maggie is no ordinary girl. She's got skills, as well as plenty of secrets to keep, burdens to carry - and anger to burn.

When circumstances mean that she has to get out of town - fast - she heads towards Melbourne, where she just might find the answers that she needs - answers about her family and who she really is. With a bent cop for a dubious ally, the police tracking her and furious bikers on her trail, Maggie is in deep trouble. She's only got her ingenuity and wits on her side - and a determination not to inherit the sins of her father.’

This was an absolutely wild ride from start to finish. Maggie is such an incredible main character, a badass with so much resiliance, despite often being outnumbered, that you cannot help but be impressed by what she manages to survive throughout the novel.

It is quite graphic and very grim in some places, with Maggie being beaten and stabbed, to the point where you’re expecting her death, but somehow she still manages to keep going. There are a couple of characters that do unexpectedly help Maggie, including Jack Carlin, whom you come to actually quite like as a character by the end of the novel.

 

The novel is very much about Maggie diving back into her past to try and locate her missing mum who abandoned her, as she navigates old memories of her abusive father and what she inherited from him (hence the title of the novel). It seems as if the main thing she inherited was his violent streak as she has no qualms in brutally attacking the people that deserve it. Despite this brutal outlook on life and the things that Maggie does, you really do feel for her, with the abuse she received at the hands of her Dad, and you are rooting for her throughout.

 

We also get a glimpse into the past through the eyes of Jack Carlin, and his relationship with Maggie’s father, and another cop whom Maggie always trusted as a kid.

 

This novel is a sequel to Gabriel’s first novel, The Hunted. However, it works well as a stand-alone (I have not read the first novel myself) as it is a new look into who Maggie is, and the first novel doesn’t delve into Maggie’s life as much as this one.

I’ve now added The Hunted to my TBR list, as I really enjoyed this book and I want to find out what else Maggie gets up to!

 

A brilliantly dark and unforgettable novel full of twists and turns that keep you captivated until the very last page! I highly recommend this to anyone that loves a thriller/crime novel!

 

5/5 stars




Saturday, 20 November 2021

Book Review | Your Neighbours Wife by Tony Parsons | prettylittlewriter

 A thrilling ride from the start, packed full of drama, scandal and heartbreak.

Synopsis

Tara Carver seems to have the perfect life. A loving mother and wife, and a business woman who runs her own company, she's the sort of person you'd want to live next door to, who might even become your best friend.

But what sort of person is she really?

Because in one night of madness, on a work trip far from home, she puts all this at risk. And suddenly her dream life becomes a living nightmare when the married man she spent one night with tells her he wants a serious relationship with her. And that he won't leave her or her precious family alone until she agrees.

There seems to be only one way out.
And it involves murder...’

When Tara meets an intelligent and kind-looking man on a business trip in Tokyo, she feels like the opportunity has arisen for her to have a brief fling with no repercussions as she will never see him again, right?

When James Caine become obsessively aggressive and won’t let her go, her family and marriage are in danger, and Tara is feeling backed into a corner.

And then when James turns up dead, the question remains as to who did it.

I was absolutely hooked on this novel after just a couple of chapters. I found most of the characters were both likeable and unlikeable at the same time (except James who was just plain evil), and there was plenty of drama involved with the cheating, the lies and the murder.

I increasingly disliked Tara more and more as the novel went on, as she seemed to show a very selfish side to her (expecting her husband to be by her side no matter what and act like everything is normal even though she cheated on him!) and not really thinking about anyone else or the repercussions of her actions.

There are many twists within the novel, keeping you guessing till the very end as to who really did kill James Caine, and there were also some very unexpected surprises involving certain characters that also brought a lot to the novel.

I did find that by the end of the novel, there was no one character that was completely blameless in any of the drama that happened, as they all did something to cause it or make things worse, except Tara and Christian’s son, Harlon.

I liked the use of ‘shopping for pain’. It’s a great metaphor for when you’re looking for something within your life or marriage to cause you hurt and to potential create drama also.

This was my first Tony Parsons novel, and it will not be my last. Very impressed and highly recommend.

5/5 stars




Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Book Review | The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu | prettylittlewriter

Thank you so much to Black Crow PR and Tor books for sending me a copy for review!

 Synopsis
‘Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh's dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl's gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone's bewitching children--leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It's on Ropa's patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She'll dice with death (not part of her life plan...), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She'll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa's gonna hunt them all down.’

This is a brilliant read full of ghosts, magic and a dream library setting!

It took me a little while to like our main character Ropa, as she was very stubborn at the start and would only help the departed communicate with their loved ones for a charge (which wasn't very empathetic).

However, as the novel went on, a softer side came out of her, especially when she starts making friends within the library.

The first person thoughts from Ropa were a brilliant way to read the novel through her perspective, and it really helped hook me to the story.

The book takes place in an alternate Edinburgh, set in the future (after an event known as ‘the catastrophe’) and features slums, poverty and quite a bit of violence. Even though it seems to be set in the future, some parts of the novel give me a retro vibe.

I really enjoyed the paranormal elements to it, and the incorporation of Ropa’s mbira (African instrument) to help tether the spirits to the earth so she can communicate with them properly. There was also the mention of another realm, where the departed can be banished to, that has no time or gravity and is full of monsters.

The main danger/baddie within the novel is very clever and really interesting, and without giving too much away, I found it quite scary and difficult to read in places due to the nature of it.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot, and would highly recommend to anyone that likes a fantasy novel that incorporates ghosts and a dystopian element.


I'm very much looking forward to the 2nd book!

4/5 stars



Friday, 5 November 2021

Book Review | The House of Dust by Noah Broyles | prettylittlewriter

Thank you so much to Noah for sending me a copy of your novel to review! 

Synopsis

Deep in the of rural Tennessee, sits the forgotten town of Three Summers. Mere miles away, on an overgrown river island, stands the house that once presided over the grand plantation of Angel’s Landing,

Failing crime writer Bradley Ellison and former prostitute Missy Holiday are drawn to this place, fleeing a world turned against them. For Brad, it is work—he must find a compelling story before the true-crime magazine he writes for judges him expendable. For Missy, it is recuperation—four years at "the club" have left her drained.

But the price of peace is high, and soon Brad and Missy discover that something hides behind the quiet. Something moves in the night. Something that manifests itself in bizarre symbols and disturbing funeral rites. Something that twists back through time and clings in the dust of the ancient house. A presence they must uncover before their own past catches up with them.’

It took me a while to realise that Brad and Missy’s timelines are different; Missy Holiday is years before Brad, and their timelines do meet at the very beginning when Brad first shows up in Three Summers, but it is not apparent until later on that they are different (a little bit of a spoiler, but may help you understand the book more if you read this review before you read the novel!).

At the very beginning of the novel, Brad is running from his problems and has made the decision to kill himself, which is why he ends up in Three Summers, looking for water to take some pills with. This was a shocking start to the book, with my intrigue piqued to find out what has happened for him to make this decision.  When a grey-haired woman knocks on his car window and asks if he’s the doctor, he finds himself saying yes, and being taken to the house at Angel’s Landing, for a woman in apparent need of a doctor.

I found the writing style very dark, gothic and with plenty of metaphors. Noah’s descriptive writing of the town, the house and the land around it was so intense and incredibly compelling.

The skipping between the different timelines was a little confusing at times, especially at the beginning when I didn’t realise that Missy was not Brad’s fiancĂ©e. We also get a first person narrative as Brad writes for his magazine at the beginning of each chapter, Southern Gothic, and then it switches to third person for the actual story.

Both our main characters of Brad and Missy were likeable, especially Missy, who is very damaged but a delicate and caring soul, who gives sympathy to those who don’t even necessarily deserve it (A boy called Roy who hurts a cat so bad it goes brain dead, ends up needing her help later on).

The small town with all its inhabitants feels very much like a cult, with bizarre rituals and beliefs that seem to cause absolute chaos at times.

Overall, I did enjoy the novel, and I was rooting for the characters to have a happy ending (more-so Missy as she’s had such a terrible life and I wanted her to have some happiness), but I did find myself putting off reading it as I found it quite a difficult at times due to the disjointed writing style. I would definitely recommend to anyone that loves a true gothic novel, with some frightening scenes and a rural southern setting.

4/5 stars