Skip to content

Dangerous To Know By Chloe Esposito

Dangerous To Know‘Dangerous To Know’ is the latest book by Chloe Esposito and the third book in the Alvie Knightly Trilogy.

One year – and one very unfortunate incident – later, Alvie is homeless, surviving on meal deals, and counting her dwindling pennies. It’s time for one last hit, and if anyone can pull it off – in six-inch heels – it’s Alvie. But if she’s to succeed in her mission to avenge her ex, win back her money and secure her future, she’ll have to face her most terrifying enemy yet.

This book is a ridiculous read and I mean that in a positive way. It’s sassy, fast paced, raunchy and includes a protagonist that literally gets away with murder.

This is the third book from Chloe Knightly and just like the first book in the series, Alvie is set out for revenge and make her mark on the world. Having lost the love of her life, she’s intent to avenge her lover’s death and make some new friends and drama along the way.

I love Alvie, she’s fun, outspoken and quite messed up but that’s primarily down to the way her mother pined her and her sister against one another. Beth, Alvie’s twin sister was the favourite of the two and their mother treated Alvie brutally with her bullying behaviour and psychological treatment that helped mould Alvie into the serial killer that she’s become. As she plans her next kill, Alvie befriends an influencer called Tiffany who takes Alvie under her wing and for the first time in her life, Alvie feels like a good person.

In order for Alvie to get revenge for Nino’s death, Alvie creates a new persona called Siobhan and where she can Alvie drops in some Irish sayings, dialect and wisdom along the way that does make for fun reading.

The story is fun and witty that travels at quite a speed around the world that really engages the reader and keeps them on their toes. There’s rarely a dull moment in the book whether it’s some wit from Alvie or some predicament that she’s got herself into.

Gloriously fun and injected with razor sharp wit and violence, ‘Dangerous to Know’ is a thrilling and sad end to the Alvie Knightly series. Filled with attitude, unlikable characters and moments of poignancy that makes for sad and reflective reading, this international thriller is not for the faint hearted.

You can buy ‘Dangerous to Know’ from Amazon and available to buy from good bookshops.

The Heatwave By Kate Riordan

The Heatwave‘The Heatwave’ is the latest book by Kate Riordan.

Sylvie hasn’t been back to her crumbling French family home in years. Not since the death of her eldest daughter Elodie. Every corner of the old house feels haunted by memories of her – memories she has tried to forget. But as temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, a long-buried family secret is about to come to light. Because there’s something Sylvie’s been hiding about what really happened to Elodie that summer.

Wow, I started reading this book this morning and each time I was properly hooked, I was interrupted. So, I ended up fleeing to another room and boy was it worth it!

The story is seen through the narrative of Sylvie, who’s returned to France to pack up her family home to sell. The house had a fire in it, but there wasn’t much damage done so Sylvie and her daughter Emma set about getting the house in order. It’s there that we find out that the house doesn’t find have happy memories for Sylvie as she had another daughter called Elodie who was a difficult and troubled daughter. It’s being back in the house, that reminds Sylvie of bad times and even the small village residents don’t like to see Sylvie returned because of Elodie’s behaviour.

The story is set in 2 eras, the 1970s when Elodie was born and 1993 when Sylvie and Emma return to the house.

This book is a great psychological thriller that really pulled me attention in. I loved Sylvie, she’s a kind woman who’s primary concern is Emma, who she refers to as “you” in the story. Elodie is a severely troubled character, who lacks empathy and seems to revel in hurting people, particularly Sylvie and then Emma. Scenes with Elodie do make for upsetting and disturbing as she continually turns on her mother and Sylvie begins to lose faith in their relationship and become fearful of her daughter. Her marriage also suffers, as Elodie is a daddy’s girl with Greg unable to believe that his daughter is as bad as Sylvie maintains.

As the story progresses, I found myself racing through the pages to find out what has become of Elodie and with each short and snappy chapter, there’s a great reveal pulling the reader back in. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of the French town and cuisine and is atmospheric from the first page with the heady backdrop of the sweltering heatwave that’s getting underneath everyone’s skin.

A thrilling story about complicated relationships and a mother’s love, ‘The Heatwave’ is a sultry and complex drama that sizzles with menace and sophistication.

You can buy ‘The Heatwave’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Afterland By Lauren Beukes

Afterland‘Afterland’ is the latest book by Lauren Beukes

Three years after a virus wiped out 99% of the men on earth, a mother and son are on the run. All Cole has left in the world is her boy, Miles. With men now a prized commodity, keeping him safe means breaking hastily written new rules – and leaving her own sister for dead. All Miles has left in the world is his mother. But is one person enough to save him from the many who would kill to get their hands on a living boy? Together, Cole and Miles embark on a journey across a changed, hostile country, towards a freedom they may never reach. And when Cole’s sister tracks them down, they’ll need to decide who to trust – and what loyalty really means in this unimaginable new world.

The story is set sometime in the future when a terrible virus causes the majority of the males in the world to die. In a world now run by female, reproduction is at a standstill as they figure out what to do next.

Miles is a young boy who is one of few survivors and him and his mother Cole have been taken into a secure location. They are to be tested on to help with future vaccines and reproduction. When Cole’s sister Billie turns up to rescue, Cole is delighted but she’s unaware that Billie has an ulterior motive, to sell Miles. Once Cole figures out what is going on, she flees with Miles disguising him as a little girl called Mila. The story then follows Cole and Mila as they flee to safety hiding from Billie and her disgruntled buyers.

The story is written in the past and present sequences and starts at the point that Cole and Miles escape Billie’s clutches and leaves Billie in a car accident. The past sequences feature when the virus first hits the world and when Cole and Mila are in the secure location. The story is seen from the narrative of Cole, Mila and Billie.

Multiple narratives in this story give an interesting slant to the tale, as Cole’s maternal instinct kicks in and her primary objective is to get her son to safety, no matter. Travelling across America with the desire to travel home to Johannesburg who she could finally feel a bit safer. Miles is adapting to a life with being a rarity in a world of women and is trying to remember a happier time when he wasn’t on the run and his father was still alive. Whilst lacks any maternal instinct and is led purely by money and where Cole has a kind nature, Billie is fierce.

This dystopian and bleak book makes for despairing and unsettling reading, that was definitely up there with the likes of ‘The Road’. It’s vividly descriptive, with a barren landscape and the desperation of trying to find a cure and how males are essentially being sold on the black market.

For me, what was striking about the story is the emphasis on how a world can change in 6 months and that is certainly reflective with what’s happening in 2020 and the pandemic. For me, dystopian stories are always set much further in the future, so when the likes of Ed Sheeran is mentioned, it quickly reminds the reader of how close in time it is to the future.

’Afterland’ is a gripping story of survival and a mother’s love with a storyline that scarily seems almost similar to the world that we currently live in.

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

The Flipside By James Bailey

The Flipside‘The Flipside’ is the debut novel by James Bailey.

When Josh proposes in a pod on the London Eye at New Years’ Eve, he thinks it’s perfect. Until she says no. And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together. His life is falling apart. Realising he can’t trust his own judgment, Josh decides from now on he will make every decision through the flip of a coin. Maybe the coin will change his life forever. Maybe it will help him find the girl of his dreams.

I was raging with myself when I started this book late one evening, as soon as I started I was snorting throughout and knew it was going to be an enjoyable story. So, the following day I put some time aside to properly delve it and boy, was it worth it.

The story starts at the point that Josh proposes to his girlfriend called Jade, having booked a pod on the London Eye, he wants it to be a magical. But by the time he has stepped off the London Eye, he’s single, homeless and jobless. With his tail between his legs Josh leaves the busy streets of London for the pub quizzes of Bristol as he tries to get his life back in order with his best friends, Jake and Jessie and the help of a 50p coin that he is convinced will help him make the best decisions in his life. But whilst supporting Jessie taking part in the London Marathon, Josh runs into a woman who affectionately becomes known as ’Sunflower Girl’ as they met in an art gallery and with the aid of the 50p coin and his best friends, finds himself flying across Europe hoping to meet her again.

Right from the start, this book was a fun and fresh story and it’s refreshing to see a man writing about romance and Josh has done is superbly with, the witty dialogue, the colourful characters and the hilarious scenarios that Josh gets into dependent on the flip of the coin.

The characters are completely fun and relatable, where they were are a point in their lives where it’s expected to know who and what you want to do be doing with your life. Josh approaches this pressure and questions with humour and for this, made the book a charming read. His parents are equally as fun, with his buying shop bought Victoria Sponge but adding some more jam to prove the illusion that she made it herself and his dad was a regular Del Boy with scams and moneymaking ideas at every opportunity. One thing, I loved was the dynamics of Josh’s friendship with Jake and Jessie, I loved it when the friends got together as the banter between was always honest and fun, but even though they think Josh is mad with the 50p flipping, they support him and are there for him along the way.

There are many parts of this story that I enjoyed but I really loved accompanying on his search across Europe to find ’Sunflower Girl’ and when it took him to Paris, I loved the vivid descriptions of ‘Shakespeare and Company’, a wonderful bookshop that I also visited on my own visit to Paris, so reading these entries were a welcome return.

I loved this debut and the concept behind it and would love to read more about Josh and his friends as they embark on new adventures in their lives. A deliciously fun and fresh story which is a welcome distraction from what is going on in the world, ‘The Flip Side’ is a roller coaster of a story, or should I say a London Eye. Packed with banter, drama and a seriously cute rabbit called Jeremy, I found this quick witted and cleverly written book to be the perfect pick me up, no matter what side your coin falls on.

You can buy ‘The Flipside’ from Amazon for 99p on the Kindle Store and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th November 2020.

Grown Ups By Marian Keyes

Grown Ups ‘Grown Ups’ is the latest book by Marian Keyes.

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it. Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much. Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets. In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?

One night I sat up into the early morning gripped by the latest offering by Marian. Thankfully, it was during the Christmas holidays so it gave me time to catch up on my sleep as well as reflect on my thoughts on the book.

When Marian releases a new book, there is always such excitement over it, the hype, the drama, will it be as good as the others, will it make me laugh, will it make me cry, will I relate to it? And I can wholeheartedly say yes to all the above, because ‘Grown Ups’ is about life, the ups, the downs, the filters and the truths.

To the outside world, it appears that the Casey family, have it all. The marriages, the jobs, the children and the money to enjoy beyond their means but behind closed doors, things are different. Infidelity, lies, eating disorders, Marian has packed everything into her latest book.

The story is seen through the multiple narratives of the characters of the family and each member of the family are tackling their own personal demons, mental health, eating disorders, financials health as well as infidelity.

The book is packed with a range of vibrant characters and personalities that literally explode from the pages, family gatherings with the Casey family is not for the faint hearted and are usefully packed with plenty of drama and laughter, particularly after getting concussion Cara begins to tell the truth about everyone.

I genuinely loved this book and it’s saddened me that it has taken me until now to finally review it.

‘Grown Ups’ is one of my favourite books from 2020 and is definitely up there as one of my favourite books from Marian Keyes. She explores humans and relationships with such insight, peeling back layers and revealing hidden flaws that make us humans. A story that highlights the pressures of society, relationships and mental health, with wit, charm and honesty, ‘Grown Ups’ is a cleverly crafted and relatable book that tackles the big stuff with sensitivity and snort out loud moments and is totally absorbing.

You can buy ‘Grown Ups’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.