Archive for the ‘Hodder and Stoughton’ Category


Dead Pretty


Author: David Mark
Published: 28 January 2016
Reviewed: 02 February 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 Hodder and Stoughton Books in return for an honest review.

  4 out of 5 stars  


McAvoy is like any other detective, there’s always an unsolved case that sticks with them.  For him, it’s Hannah Kelly, she disappeared nine months ago, no further trace of her has been found, but he can’t give up on her, and is determined to find her.  McAvoy is pulled into investigate the murder of Ava Delaney case by his boss, Det. Supt. Trish Pharaoh, but he can’t give up on Hannah. 
As the cases unravel, McAvoy becomes aware of connections, but are they valid?  Is he merely seeing things there because he so desperately wants to?  Too many coincidental accidents are stacking up for his liking, he just can’t work out the link. 
Pharaoh is having her own troubles with a case too, a man she helped to convict has been released from prison The charismatic Reuben Hollow was convicted on the strength of a perjured statement from a Police officer and it’s Pharaoh‘s reputation that’s being dragged through the mud for it.  McAvoy can see that the Hollow situation is having an impact on Pharaoh, and wants to solve these cases to help her. 
Pharaoh’s personal life isn’t much better, her husband is in a near vegetative state, her eldest child is rebelling and she’s struggling to manage it all.  The debts her husband incurred have almost brought her to her knees but she‘s not giving up, she‘ll keep fighting, as long as there’s a glass of wine waiting for her….
With Pharaoh mentally and physically absent at times, McAvoy is determined to find the connection between Hannah Kelly and Ava Delaney, he has to get justice for these young woman, no matter what the personal cost.  
That’s about all I can really say about the plot, there‘s so many juicy bits I would love to share or hint at, but it would give too much away.  This is too good a book to offer spoilers for!
The writing is intense and clever, Mark builds suspense well, but never gives away the final piece of the puzzle until he feels you’ve earned it.  Keeping the reader hanging seems to be a skill used well here, the sub plot cleverly interwoven breaks up the narrative between McAvoy’s investigations, Pharaoh’s troubles and each break from main plot to sub plot (and vice versa) almost has you shouting “but what happens next?!”
The characters are incredibly well written, McAvoy is depicted as a gentle giant, caring to those that deserve it but fearsome to others.  His soft side really comes out when his wife is around, the reminders from Pharaoh that he should practice his glare in front of a mirror are funny, but also stand out that this really is a gentle character.  Pharaoh, on the other hand, is as tough as old boots.  She’s been in the job long enough to be jaded, relies on alcohol and nicotine (too much) to function, the physical descriptions of her are so vivid, you can almost taste the cigarette smoke clinging to her clothes.  
The relationship between McAvoy and Pharaoh reminds me of reading Stuart MacBride‘s Logan McRae series and  the tumultuous relationship of McRae and Steel.he relationship between McAvoy and his superior Trish Pharaoh reminds me of reading Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series with the tumultuous relationship of McRae and Steel.
I would like to admit that this is the first of Mark‘s books that I‘ve read, I’ve not read the 4 previous books featuring Aector McAvoy so I can’t claim to know much of the back story that goes with this character, that being said, there is enough information given in the narrative that allows you a rounded knowledge of the characters and their struggles.  I also think that this book stands up well on it’s own, I certainly didn’t feel I was missing anything pertinent to the storyline from not having read the previous books.  And I would happily go back and read the previous ones before rereading this one to see if that makes any difference to my views of this one.  
I would happily recommend this book to any fans of Police Procedurals, Fiction, Thrillers, as well as fans of Stuart MacBride‘s Logan McRae books.    

I would like to thank Hodder and Stoughton 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 28th January 2016, a copy can be purchased here Dead Pretty (UK Hardcopy Version)

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A Banquet Of Consequences

Author : Elizabeth George
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 10 November 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 Hodder and Stoughton in return for an honest review.

2 out of 5 stars



Inspector Lynley investigates the London end of an ever more darkly disturbing case, with Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata looking behind the peaceful façade of country life to discover a twisted world of desire and deceit.

The suicide of William Goldacre is devastating to those left behind. But what was the cause of his tragedy and how far might the consequences reach? Is there a link between the young man’s leap from a Dorset cliff and a horrific poisoning in Cambridge?
Following various career-threatening misdemeanours, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is desperate to redeem herself. So when a past encounter with bestselling feminist writer Clare Abbott and her pushy personal assistant Caroline Goldacre gives her a connection to the Cambridge murder, Barbara begs DI Thomas Lynley to let her pursue the crime.
A very slow start, to this novel, whilst it’s important to meet the characters and find out about them, it felt that a lot of pages were dedicated to minute details that didn’t seem overly relevant to the story, other than making me wonder constantly which one of them was going to end up the victim. 

The story line of the novel is interesting, but the actual writing for me let it down.  The dialogue between characters was irritating in places, maybe the author used techniques to illustrate the characters talking in a local dialect, but for me this was something that became almost unbearable and I will admit I did skip a lot of the dialogue once I’d gleaned the relevant details.  The flawed characters are well written, their behaviours and mental attitudes are well described and you feel almost annoyed at some of them at times for being so naive or so downright crazy. 

There were places in this book that I felt that the mini dramas were there solely to “pad out” this already incredibly lengthy novel, the Rory/Fiona story, the Charlie/India/Nat story were just some examples of this.  It also felt that a lot of relevance was given to the character Lily, but she failed to appear in the novel very often except from at the start, she seemed like quite an interesting and likeable character so I was a little disappointed that she seemed to drift away and was all but forgotten about by the author. 

I really wanted to  like this novel, the blurb make it sound so intriguing and until about half way through I was hooked, but in the second half of the book my interest was waning and in the end I was just relieved to have finished this book and move on to something else.  Overall, it was a good idea for a book, the plot started well,  but it dragged on too often for me and felt like this book could have made a better impression if it were cut in half, irrelevant padding removed and dialogue tidied up. 
I would like to thank Hodder and Stoughton 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 1st Novelber, a copy can be purchased here A Banquet Of Consequences (UK Kindle Version)

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Last Words

Author : Michael Koryta
Published: 27 August 2015
Reviewed: 08 October 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 Hodder and Stoughton in return for an honest review.


2 out of 5 stars

Still mourning the death of his wife, private investigator Mark Novak accepts a case that may be his undoing. On the same day his wife died, the body of a teenage girl was pulled from the extensive and perilous cave system beneath Southern Indiana. Now the man who rescued the girl, who was believed to be her killer, begs Novak to uncover what really happened.

Garrison is much like any place in America, proud and fortified against outsiders. For Mark to delve beneath the town’s surface, he must match wits with the man who knows the caverns better than anyone. A man who seemed to have lost his mind. A man who seems to know Mark Novak all too well.

Last Words is a pulse-pounding thriller of one man’s undoing; you just may not know which man.

Mark Novak, still mourning the murder of his wife is sent away on reconnaissance of a case that he believes has no possibility of being accepted by the organisation he works for as a private investigator.  Mark is sent to a small town called Garrison, hiding from the Board, who are baying for his blood and looking to end his career with them over his handling of many things, including his meddling with the investigation of the murder of his wife.  
He is trying to find a basis for taking on a case of a teenage girl being pulled from a cave by a man believed to be her killer, and strangely, it is the man believed to be the killer that is requesting Mark’s help to investigate what went on that day.
This is where the interest dies with this book, the promising start seems to be abandoned for an in-depth look at the cave and the mystery surrounding it, and it’s apparent hold over the character thought to be the murderer of the teenage girl.  The stereotypical small town mind set plays a huge part in the plot, not liking outsiders, but always there’s one person that wants to help, sees that this new person might be able to bring resolution to the townsfolk after so many years.  
Granted there are some very well written parts to this novel, the descriptions of the stages of hypothermia were interesting, reading the character’s struggle to keep going whilst ticking off which symptoms he was fighting were interesting to read, but if the cave had not been such a major character in this novel then these would have undoubtedly not needed included.  
In terms of a mystery, this book ticks the box well and truly, there is a great mystery in this book, who did it, why did it happen, who is trying to scare Mark out of town, why did someone go to such extraordinary lengths to mess with Mark, will the truth ever come out? 
But for me there was the great mystery of why did it end so unresolvedly?  The answer being, there is another book to follow.  So does that mean that this book is really just setting the scene?  It would appear so, and in that sense I have to admit I do feel a little cheated. 
The writing itself it good, the pace is quick, the press release quotes that Koryta’s writing is akin to jumping into fast flowing water, and I can definitely vouch for this, it’s definitely something you feel swept away with, reading on to see what happens next, it’s just a shame that the ending just didn’t satisfy me as much as I would have hoped. 

I might recommend this book to someone who enjoys Fiction, Thrillers and Mystery genres. 

I would like to thank Hodder and Stoughton for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, it can be purchased here, Last Words (UK Hardcopy)

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A Game For All The Family 


Author : Sophie Hannah
Published: 13 August 2015
Reviewed: 21 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 Hodder & Stoughton
in return for an honest review


  2 (& 1/2) out of 5 stars



Justine Merrison and her family leave London for a new life in Devon, Justine is hugely looking forward to a life without the stress of London and her career, but on the drive down to Devon something strange happens that sets the tone of the novel, an “odd feeling” about something she sees seems to throw her off balance.

To begin with, life in Devon is bliss, Justine can live the life of doing ‘nothing’ as she so wishes for, until the strange phone calls start, and she discovers the story that her daughter Ellen is writing for school.  Something about that story unnerves Justine to the point she MUST know more, it’s too  far fetched for Ellen to have written, the names used aren’t those that a teenager would think up, the setting is their lovely new house and the story is dark and sinister.

As Ellen’s story progresses, so does the saga surrounding Justine, the mystery calls become menacing and sinister and Justine begins to fear for the safety of herself, her husband and daughter.  As she struggles to find out what’s happening the twists of Ellen’s story become more and more intense.
Conscious not to give away too much and spoil the book for other readers I will avoid giving too much detail on what happens next, but there are some twists and turns in the novel, and the need to find out what happens next was a driver in reading on for me.

The sub plot of Ellen’s story is necessary in this novel as it explains the psychological aspect of a character, but in all honesty, that part of the novel could have easily been replaced with a conversation or two between characters giving the details of what happened, when, where and who was involved to avoid the messy jumping about and irritating different writing styles (yes I appreciate that this was a tool used to allow a clear difference between the two stories being told), irritating in the sense of the font that was used, the style it was written in and the way it read.  It definitely did not enhance my reading. 

The concept of the novel is an interesting one, but the execution just didn’t hit the mark for me.  I was eager to read this after reading the description and blurb on the cover of the book but was very let down and there were a few times I actually wondered to myself if it was worth finishing it.  

I might recommend this book to someone that enjoys Fiction, Mystery, and Thrillers.


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