Tuesday 22 September 2020

Book Review | Watching From The Dark by Gytha Lodge | prettylittlewriter

 Today's book review is long overdue.
 I read this novel around 3 months ago, and I've just been so busy that I've not been able to sit down and write a review! 
After finishing Olivia Kiernan's books and writing that review first as it was fresh in my mind, I'm ready to revisit this absolute gem!

I read Gytha's first novel, She Lies In Wait, at the very beginning of this year and loved it. So I was super excited to read the next installment of the Detective Jonah Sheens series. 

Gytha very kindly gifted me Watching From The Dark, and after the first couple of chapters I was hooked!

Aidan Poole is on a video call with his girlfriend when he realises she is not alone in her flat. She enters the bathroom, and a violent struggle ensues. Aidan is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay, so then why doesn't he call the police?
After sending cryptic messages to the police, DCI Sheens picks up the case, and upon discovering Zoe's body, delve into an investigation. With many friends and family members keen to express their love for Zoe, Jonah and his team have their work cut out if they want to figure out who the killer is. 

 I found this one so incredibly interesting! Did Aidan arrange for Zoe's murder and video chatted with her for an alibi? Are her friends hiding dark secrets that Zoe discovered which led one of them to murder her?

Gytha's writing excelled in this second installment. The twists and turns within it, alongside the brilliant character development and mystery surrounding Aidan's real relationship with Zoe create a clever and thrilling crime novel.

I was incredibly impressed with the amount of twists and turns that took place, I was kept on my toes the whole time and I was proven wrong whenever I thought I'd cracked the case myself! 

Overall, I was very impressed with this for a second novel. Thank you so much Gytha for gifting me the book, I enjoyed it thoroughly and cannot wait for book 3!

4/5 stars

Sunday 20 September 2020

Book Review | DCS Frankie Sheehan 1, 2 & 3 by Olivia Kiernan | prettylittlewriter

Today I wanted to share a review on not one, not two, but THREE brilliant books by the lovely Olivia Kiernan!

I was lucky enough to have been gifted the third and most recent DCS Frankie Sheehan novel,
If Looks Could Kill by Olivia, and rather than starting with the third novel (which can be done, you do not have to read in succession to enjoy the books!) I chose to purchase the first two and read them in order.

Too Close To Breathe - Frankie Sheehan #1
Scientist Eleanor Costello is found hanged, presumably having committed suicide. Detective Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. As she builds up an image of the killer, she starts to believe there could be a larger scheme at hand.

Throughout the novel, we get snippets of Frankie's past; a previous case that had caused her some personal trauma, and it builds up until we finally discover what had happened. This trauma impacts the way Frankie deals with the new case of Professor Costello's death, being her first assignment back in action.

I liked the way Olivia went into detail with Frankie's past, and the issues she had which impacted her investigation, as I felt more connected to her and it gave the character a lot of depth. I also really enjoyed the incorporation of the Dark Web, which leads you down a rabbit hole of possibility with who the killer could be.

The book feels very true to life and honest. It seems Olivia has taken time to really research the life of a Detective and the procedures surrounding a murder investigation, to ensure the novel is as accurate as it can be.

 I was trying to guess the killer all the way through, and thought I had it at one point, but I was proven wrong at the last moment! Yet another thing I loved about the book; I was kept on my toes all the way.

A brilliant debut crime novel that kept me hooked until the very end!


 The Killer In Me - Frankie Sheehan #2

Years ago, Sean Hennessey was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and the attempted murder of his sister, but he always maintained his innocence. In the present, he has been released from prison, and making a TV documentary about the 'wrongful conviction'. But his freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, leading DCS Frankie Sheehan to wonder if he was involved. 

I REALLY got into this one. I think it only took me around a week to read, I was desperate to find out who the killer was. The character of Sean Hennessey was brilliant, at times you felt like he was a cold-blooded killer, the way Olivia describes the way he looks at people, or his body language. Then other times you start to think maybe he is completely innocent, especially during his documentary segments, as he sheds tears and seems completely distraught. Throughout the whole thing I just could not figure out if he was guilty of killing his parents or not.
Then with the introduction of the new murders and numerous key suspects that all could have had their own motive, you wonder, how could he be involved again?

Again, Olivia writes in so much detail, giving us an insight into how Frankie is feeling, her innermost thoughts surrounding the case. We also get to see the very sweet friendship Frankie has with her partner, Baz, and how much of a support system they have between them. 

As with her first novel, I did not guess the ending, I was on the edge of my seat till the end!


If Looks Could Kill - Frankie Sheehan #3

After being summoned to the Wiklow mountains by the disappearance of Debbie Nugent, Frankie discovers a crime scene fit for a murder. With no body, to prove it, Detective Sheehan has to delve deep into Debbie's past and current life, including her two daughters, Margot and Kristen, to uncover what has really happened to her. 

This third novel, I finished in 4 days! Absolutely brilliant. With it being Olivia's third book in the series, I think she has completely found her footing, and after reading the first two and knowing the characters, I just fell into this one.

Again, she goes into great detail about each character, gives them all their own interesting and slightly murky personalities, and with it seeming to go one way with who the killer is, there is then a huge twist. With a little bit of romance thrown in, and the continuation of the ever so lovely relationship Frankie has with Baz, this has to be my favourite so far!

I could not have guessed where the novel ended up, being so certain on one suspect as it all fit nicely with the evidence they had, to throw a spanner in the works with something completely different was impressive.

It's a brilliant gritty crime novel, with plenty of twists and turns, and definitely Olivia Kiernan's best novel to date!

So thank you Olivia, for gifting me this novel, and introducing me to the wonderfully chaotic world of Frankie Sheehan!

4/5 stars