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Archive for March, 2020

  • Title: On Forgiveness
  • Author: Richard Holloway
  • Publisher: Canongate Canons
  • Publication Date: 9th February 2002

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

‘Full of human wisdom, this is a psychologically acute and absorbing approach to a very important subject’ PHILIP PULLMAN

In this inspiring work, Richard Holloway tackles the great theme of forgiveness. One of the most important books on this essential topic, On Forgiveness draws on the great philosophers and writers such as Frederick Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Nelson Mandela. Both timely and a timeless modern classic, On Forgiveness is a pertinent and fascinating discourse on how forgiveness works, where it came from and how the need to embrace it is greater than ever if we are to free ourselves from the binds of the past.

My Thoughts:

Richard Holloway is one of Canongate’s most beloved authors and, on 5th March, Leaving Alexandria was the latest of his books to join the Canons collection. To celebrate this wonderful achievement the folks at Canongate are running a blog tour with reviews of Richard’s books so that more readers can experience his wise and fascinating writing.

Whilst a compact book, this is nevertheless a wise and thought-provoking read. There are four chapters, Religion without Religion, Reclaiming the Future, Managing the Chaos, and Redeeming the Chaos, all laid out as though you were listening to Holloway speak. His insightful thoughts take you on a journey as you read, he highlights passages of poems and meditations to emphasise his points, as well as the Bible.
This may not be a manual for forgiveness, it doesn’t give you the right or wrong ways to go about things. Forgiveness isn’t as simple or clear cut as that, but what it does do is give you something to think about. It asks you to consider what forgiveness is in a given situation, what it means to those involved, the actions that lead to the point where forgiveness is necessitated.

A wonderful wee book that I think I will no doubt come back to from time to time. For me this is a book that inspires deep thinking and a profound sense peace as I read, helping me slow down and take the time to really consider things and process it all.

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  • Title: Deep Dark Night
  • Author: Steph Broadribb
  • Publisher: Orenda Books
  • Publication Date: 5th March 2020

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

A city in darkness. A building in lockdown. A score that can only be settled in blood…

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

My Thoughts:

With every new book in the Lori Anderson series I feel a sense of great excitement when I read the opening pages and catch up with one of the greatest characters I’ve ever “met”. Lori Anderson is fierce, she’s sassy and she’s damned good at her job. Even if she has to adopt different personas to achieve results, and she does it so brilliantly!
If you’ve followed the series, then this is the fourth book in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

The plot is as always gripping and makes for an adrenaline packed read, and the move to Chicago as the setting gives this a darker, gritty feel. But if the plot wasn’t intense enough, Broadribb ensures she hooks her readers by offering perspectives of both Lori and JT, her partner. Doing this allows readers to get to know this character better, form a stronger link to him and witness his motivations and devotion to his loved ones. Somehow Broadribb always manages to craft characters that enchant, enthrall and enrage. They are all so diverse, but each is detailed and you don’t feel that anything is lacking … you get a clear idea of who everyone is and what their role in the story is, even down the the small characters.

Claustrophobia isn’t something I’ve ever really been bothered with, but this book manages to make it feel so real and intense with the apartment setting. This is a locked room mystery like no other, it tests Lori and JT to the limit and it really has you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what happens next and if Lori will succeed.

Follow the blog tour!

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  • Title: The Final Game
  • Author: Caimh McDonnell
  • Publisher: McFori Ink
  • Publication Date: 17th March 2020

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Dorothy Graham is dead, which is inconvenient, not least for her. Luckily, she has planned for this eventuality. Now, if any of the truly dreadful people she is related to want to get their hands on her money, they’re going to have to do so via a fiendish difficult and frankly bizarre competition of Dorothy’s devising. After all, just because you’re dead, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a last laugh at the expense of people who made your life miserable.

Paul Mulchrone, to his unending credit, is neither related to Dorothy or happy that she is dead; What he is however is a contestant in this competition whether he likes it or not, which he definitely doesn’t. He and his off-again on-again girlfriend, the formidable Brigit, are supposed to be running MCM Investigations, a detective agency. Instead, they have to go into battle against Dorothy’s bloodsucking relatives. As if that wasn’t enough, they get hired by the aforementioned dead woman to find out who killed her.

DI Jimmy Stewart is enjoying his retirement – in the sense that he definitely isn’t. He is bored out of his mind. When the offer comes to get back into the crime solving business, it is too good to turn down. But when he finds himself teamed up with the nephew of a man he threw in prison, and a flatulent dog, he starts to think that taking up lawn bowls wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. 

The Final Game is a standalone crime novel perfect for readers new to Caimh McDonnell’s blackly comic take on his hometown, as featured in the international bestselling Dublin Trilogy books. His previous works have been optioned for TV and nominated for awards, which they somehow keep managing not to win.

My Thoughts:

If you search for Caimh McDonnell on this blog you will find reviews of all of his books so far, and you will see that I have absolutely loved each of them. Especially the ones that feature the enigmatic Bunny McGarry. So when I saw that The Final Game featured the original colourful cast of characters I couldn’t wait to get reading!

Following on from the success of the Dublin Trilogy series, McDonnell crafts a wonderfully vivid tale that will have the reader smirking and giggling as they follow Paul Mulchrone and his girlfriend Brigit through a competition that tests their skills and stomachs. The commentary team are hilarious, we need these guys on TV!
As well as the competition, readers watch retired DI Jimmy Stewart navigate widowhood and juggle working a case that has more questions than answers. Things aren’t helped by the fact that he’s teamed up with a flatulent German shepherd with an attitude problem and the nephew of one of his previous collars.

Each of the characters is a creation of brilliance, their quirks and personalities are so very vivid. You can hear their voices, you can see the looks on the faces of those around them, their reactions to the situations that occur around them, everything.
But not only this, readers get a clear image of the settings and the action that plays out in each scene like it was on the big screen. It all makes for a thrilling and exciting read, a much needed escape and utter joy.

If you’ve not read any of the previous books by this author, I would seriously recommend binging! The wit and humour that McDonnel weaves throughout his writing is pitched perfectly. There are few books that I know will have me laughing out loud, but laughter feels guaranteed when you pick up a book by this author.

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