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Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ Category

  

Alone with the Dead

 

Author: James Nally
Published: 08 October 2015
Reviewed: 02 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review.

  5 out of 5 stars  

 

*The first in an electrifying new British detective series starring PC Donal Lynch.*

Meet PC Donal Lynch.

Irish runaway. Insomniac. Functioning alcoholic.

Donal is new to working the beat in London, trying his
best to forget that night. After all, there aren’t many police
officers who can say they have a convicted murderer
for an ex-girlfriend.

So when a woman is murdered on his patch, Donal throws
himself into the case. As the first person on the scene,
Donal can’t forget the horrific sight that faced him – and
he knows this case can’t go unsolved. But how do you
solve a case with no lead suspect and no evidence?

As his past catches up with him, Donal is forced to confront
his demons and the girl he left behind. But what will crack
first, the case or Donal?

     

Donal Lynch has a past, he can’t let go of his ex-girlfriend, despite her being a murderer and try as he might, he can’t shake the feeling he’s being haunted by someone or something from his past..  

As a PC on the beat in London, Donal is called to a crime scene that affects him more than he could imagine.  A young woman has been found murdered, it’s a gory scene and the panicking witnesses make it all the more desperate and desolate.   
Knowing that as one of the first on the scene he will have to provide a witness statement once he’s back on duty the next day, Donal heads home to think over what he saw, the witnesses he spoke to and try to block out the scene of the body of murder victim Marion Ryan.  At least that was his plan until Marion appears to him in his sleep, determined to tell him something.  
Brushing off Marion’s appearance as a dream brought on by too much Shiraz, he gets back on duty, but is soon called to disturbance.  Donal is determined to protect this victim, doing anything he can think of to ensure her safety, he advises her to call for the Police if her threatening ex-boyfriend returns to menace her, gives her his number and mentions he lives not far away so could check in on her from time to time to make sure she’s ok.  
They eventually strike up a friendship, and Donal mentions about his insomnia and the feeling that he’s being haunted by Marion, feels she’s trying to tell him something, and is convinced to go see psychiatrist (who happens to be her friend).

Donal is promoted to acting DC and is brought in on the investigation into Marion’s murder, keen to impress is superiors he sets about working hard, but his efforts are somewhat hampered by his older brother being a crime journalist.  Fintan Lynch reporting on certain things throws into question Donal’s loyalty and integrity, but he can’t do anything about it, not until unless he has proof where the actual leak is.  

The appearance of Donal’s ex-girlfriend Eve further exacerbates the chaotic situation.  Does he want her back in his life?  Why has she come back after telling him not to wait for her?  Should he just tell her to leave as his career is more important?   

Donal needs to focus, he needs to work out what Marion is trying to tell him, he needs to solve her case, and he wants to know what the psychiatrist might be able to tell him about his insomnia/seeing “ghosts” is all about.  

This is a gripping first novel, Donal Lynch is fantastic character, a tortured soul that I really liked, his dry sense of humour appealed to me, the “paranormal” element to the story worked for me.  I was a little sceptical when I heard about it and wanted to see how it would be portrayed, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Nally uses it as a form of “old fashioned gut instinct” and it really does add something to the story – I certainly will admit I wondered what Marion was trying to get across with her antics.  

The writing is good, setting this in a time of hostility in Ireland and England, the political ties make this atmospheric as well as intriguing.  The characters making comments about stereotypes prevalent at the time give an authenticity to the book.  The characters are believable, incorporating many from the police procedural set – the overzealous detective, lazy constables, guns blazing superiors, and sneaky journalists but, in this book they all have a place and work so well.

Many reviews I’ve seen have commented that there’s too back story or mention of Donal’s past and sleep problems, but for me these really explain certain things.  They add to the story and make the back story come to life.  I think it’s vital for that level of detail to make this book work and I applaud James Nally for his attention to detail and excellent writing skills. 

This is definitely a series I will be following, I can’t wait to see what Donal gets up to next and really look forward to reading more by this author.


I would have no hesitation to recommend this to fans of Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense and Crime genres.  

I would like to thank HarperCollins UK, Avon for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 8th October 2015, a copy can be purchased here Alone with the Dead (UK Kindle Version)

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Bright Stars

Author : Sophie Duffy
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 30 September 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Legend Press in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

4 out of 5 stars



Four students are involved in a tragedy that rips their friendship apart. What happens when they are reunited 25 years later?

Cameron Spark’s life is falling apart. He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie. Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music, and late night protests, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living; until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever. Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt, and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

In 1986 Cameron Spark went to university in Lancaster, a shy and quiet young Scottish lad that managed to form three of the most unbelievable friendships that change his life forever, shape what becomes of him and his friends.
Cameron first meets Tommo who is the antithesis of Cameron; he is English, he is loud, he dresses in drainpipe jeans, wears fashionable shoes, drinks alcohol and wants to be a rock star.  Then there is Bex, the love of Cameron’s life, an animal rights activist, feminist and can do no wrong as far as Cameron is concerned.  Christie, the final of the four, is a Canadian, who comes to Lancaster to study marketing before she takes the reins of the family wine business back home.
Being the typical students, they go to lectures, get drunk, go to gigs and generally have a good time being young and free from parents watching over them.  Or that is until that fateful night that changes everyone’s lives, the accident changes Cameron’s life in more ways that he can imagine, friendships are abandoned, and the mistakes that are made that night will haunt each of them for the next 25 years.
Switch to current day, Cameron, now in his 40s has split from his wife, moving back into his childhood home with his widower father (and Myrtle the dog), suspended from his job (pending investigation of an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh) and writing a journal as part of his therapy from a counsellor as a means to coping better.  Then the letter arrives from Christie, inviting them to a reunion of sorts, what can she possibly want Cameron there for?  Can he face her after what happened all those years ago?  Have Tommo and Bex been invited too? 

There is so much I could say about this story, but I really don’t want to give away too much and spoil the book for others. 

The writing style of this novel is good, the jumping back and forth between 1986 and present time is done really well, it gives so much information about Cameron as a young man at university and the group of friends he has, and explains a lot of why things have turned out as they have. 
For me, none of the characters are particularly likeable, they are all at one point or another needing taken aside, shaken and told to “buck up” – but this is very realistic in many ways, how many times do we do things, say things, act in ways that make us annoying to others, naive or just plain stupid?  For someone to make characters like that it’s very good writing in my opinion, it’s easy to write loveable characters, but to create ones that are difficult to like seems a lot harder (maybe I’m wrong?).  
There is a fine line between doing things for the right reason and doing things for the wrong reason, and this novel explore that well. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Chick Lit, it would also make a good holiday read.

I would like to thank Legend Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 1st October 2015 .  A copy can be purchased here  Bright Stars (Kindle UK Version).
 

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