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Poison By Jacqui Rose

Poison‘Poison’ is the latest book by Jacqui Rose.

In a life of crime, loyalty means everything – even if you don’t always see eye to eye. But when Vaughn Sadler speaks up to get Franny Doyle sent down, he’s broken every rule in the book to win checkmate. Holed up in prison, Franny has more than one score to settle – but she’s starting with Vaughn. Because you don’t grass on your own, no matter what. And though she may be behind bars, she will get revenge – whatever the cost.

‘Poison’ is the first ever book that I’ve read by popular crime author, Jacqui Rose and it was a gripping story of divided loyalties and revenge. It’s the latest book in the Alfie Jennings saga and thankfully, Jacqui give ample background information and great detail about the characters and the situations that they are in.

The story is seen through multiple narratives, but is primarily seen through the perspective of Franny as she adjusts to life in jail, being harassed why the cruel and top prisoner Christine as well as deal with the unrelenting rage that she feels towards Vaughan for putting her in prison in the first place. On the outside, her boyfriend Alfie is dealing with being a first time father for a child that he feels no connection with whilst Vaughan is trying to look after his best friend.

This book is a really gritty and dark story about the dark side of gangs and repercussions when things don’t go right. It’s violent in parts, particularly in scenes in the prison when Franny is faced with Christine, a cruel and terrifying woman who rules the prison with her gang of followers. Franny is a strong character who refuse to stand down when Christine confronts her and these scenes make for intense and gripping reading as the pair come face to face. The prison scenes are unsettling and fascinating in equal measures as women fight for dominance and leadership within the prison walls. Outside Alfie has his own issues with new parenthood as well as dealing as rival gangs that he owes money to.

Cleverly written with blood, drama and revenge, ‘Poison’ is the perfect gangland thriller that I found compelling from the first page. There are many strands to the story with each character having their own issues, but Jacqui ties them together with a cliff-hanger that leaves the reader bursting for more. Jacqui Rose is a new author for me and the Alfie Jennings series is also new to me but the book could be read as a standalone with no confusion. Jacqui is an author, I look forward to reading more off, she writes vividly with wit and her character development is on point with troubled characters that you really feel a connection with.

You can buy ‘Poison’ by Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Christmas Shopaholic By Sophie Kinsella

Christmas Shopaholic‘Christmas Shopaholic’ is the latest festive book by Sophie Kinsella.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers. And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted! But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong? With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear.

You can buy ‘Christmas Shopaholic’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Liar Liar By Mel Sherratt

Liar Liar ‘Liar Liar’ is the latest book by Mel Sherratt in the DS Grace Allendale series.

When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident. Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined.

‘Liar Liar’ is the first book that I’ve read by Mel Sherratt and it honestly was a great introduction to a new author.

It’s the latest book in her DI Grace Allendale series and is thrilling mystery of who done it and why they done it.

The story is about a little boy who falls from a balcony and is initially thought to be an accident but when more things happen around the estate and everyone claiming that they saw nothing, Grace finds herself questioning the residents of Harrison House and everyone claims to have seen nothing.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Grace and Ruby who is the mother of the young boy who has fallen. Her story is written in past and present sequences, setting the background clearly for her story and how she came to live on the estate. She’s a strong and relatable character who thought she had found the love of her life, only for it to come apart after falling in with the wrong crowd. Her first instinct is the safety of her children and will stop at nothing to protect them.

As Grace delves into the case of the fallen child, she finds herself uncovering nasty characters, as well as a society that is controlled and live in fear.

I really enjoyed this story and found it quite easy to be absorbed in. Even though the book is part of a series, Mel explains the background of characters clearly without giving anything major away or any spoilers, should the reader decide to read the previous books.

A gritty and thrilling story about possession and the strength of a mother’s love ‘Liar Liar’ is a dark and twisty tale that’s filled with drama and suspense and has the reader gripped to the edge of their seat.

You can buy ‘Liar Liar’ from Amazon and is avaialble to buy from good bookshops.

Rules Of The Road By Ciara Geraghty

Rules Of The Road‘Rules Of The Road’ is the latest book by Irish author, Ciara Geraghty.

Tuesday morning starts like any other – until Terry discovers her best friend Iris has gone missing. Finding her takes Terry, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene, into an extraordinary journey – one that will change all of their lives. And, along the way, what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best. Because friendship teaches us all to be brave. And, sometimes, the rules are made to be broken.

It’s been a while since I read one of Ciara’s book and her latest story is turbulent journey of friendship, loss and sheer determination.

On the day that Terry Shepherd has to take dad from his nursing home due to a rats infestation, her best friend, Iris disappears. Iris unable to live with her progressive MS decides to travel to Switzerland for assisted suicide. But Terry being the friend that she is, is unable to leave her friend to deal with it alone and more importantly try to talk her out of it. So, begins an unlikely journey across Europe as Terry, Iris and Terry’s father Eugene accompany Iris on her final destination.

I absolutely adored this story, it’s written with warmth, wit and sensitivity. All the characters are wonderful, Terry is a sensible character and it’s only on the unexpected adventure with Iris that she begins to see a different side of life, she loses her sensible clothes and embraces new textures and begins to think of her herself. She reflects on her life and how taken for granted she feels by her husband and family. Her dad Eugene has been effected by dementia but has never lost his driving skills from being a taxi driver and is always there in the back ground with driving tips and stories of famous passengers, he injected an air of innocence and fragility into the story, which was heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. Iris was a strong character, but the MS has taken away her independence and freedom of life and it’s understandable that she wants to take back the control.

This book is a beautiful story but be warned, it’s a heartbreaker. Touching on the cruelties of both dementia and MS, the illness and how it affects not only the sufferer but those around them. The trio make for entertaining reading, bouncing from poignant moments to humour, helping the reader get through the life affirming story.

Beautifully written with relatable characters and situations, ‘Rules of the Road’ is a modern day ‘Thelma and Louise’ adventure. A story about friendships, life and relationships, this book is an emotional roller-coaster that will you crying and giggling throughout with genuine characters that you hope will never reach their final destination

You can buy ‘Rules Of The Road’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Conviction by Denise Mina

Conviction‘Conviction’ is the latest book by Denise Mina and has been selected as a Reese Witherspoon Club Pick for 2020.

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them. Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent. This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

Having been recently selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, I was eager to delve into Denise’s latest book and see for myself the hype about the book.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Anna McDonald on the day that two major things happens, her husband leaves her for her best friend and an old friend has been killed in a possible triple murder on a boat that is regarded as deeply unlucky.

Shocked with both discoveries, Anna finds herself having to run for her life when her past comes back to haunt her with the help of an anorexic musician/celebrity who decides that now is the time to document their own investigation into the death of Leon Parker and his children.

I devoured this book, Anna is a fascinating characters, she’s volatile, outspoken and is determined to find from her past whilst looking for the truth. She’s relatable in a way, that she doesn’t let others walk over her and even though she is a hiding with celebrity called Fin Cohen, she’s never starstruck and is quick to voice her opinions. I loved the interaction with the pair of them, Fin is timid, withdrawn and struggling with his disorder whilst Anna is quick to tell him to eat up or shut up. In this pacy thriller, interactions between the pair inject some humour into the story and extracts from the podcast really inject mystery into the story as well.

The story is original, quick witted with a ballsy lead riddled with drama and suspense throughout. With a slick plot, intriguing characters and the perfect murder mystery, ‘Conviction’ is a fast paced and atmospheric story from the first page that made for thrilling and entertaining reading.

You can buy ‘Conviction’ from Amazon and is also available to buy from good bookshops.