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Archive for the ‘Penguin Random House’ Category

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Copy provided by Ebury Publishing in return for an honest review

 

Description:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Thoughts & Review:

Ashamedly, this is the first book that I have read by John Marrs, quite how I’ve managed to miss his books previously is beyond me, perhaps it’s because there are so many good books out there at the moment that as a reader I am spoiled for choice?  Yes, that’s why, we shall use that as my excuse, but thanks to a very interesting description and some recommendations from wonderful fellow bloggers in TBC I thought I would check this one out.

The idea that there is a genetically perfect match out there for each of us is an intriguing one, but I can’t help but feel it’s a little scary too.  How many people if faced with the chance would take the test?  And of those who took the test, who would open the results?  Would you still take the test if you were in a committed relationship?  What would you do if the person you are with turns out not to be your perfect match (genetically)?
The concept of this is explored so fully by Marrs in this novel, cleverly he writes from the perspective of more than one character allowing the reader to experience the quandary at hand.

At first I had my reservations when I saw that there were numerous different characters all narrating, each telling their story about how this genetic test plays a part in their life and how it’s far reaching repercussions impact on those around them.  But I quickly changed my mind as I was hypnotised by the enchanting charm of the writing.  The pace of this is relentless in the sense that you cannot stop reading, you don’t want to stop reading.  You want to know what each character will do about the situation they have found themselves in.  The revelations that are unveiled are wholeheartedly shocking in places, and each is bigger than the previous one.  The twists that are cleverly woven into this are the work of sheer genius – not once did I suspect what lay ahead and found myself staring at the book in awe but also slightly terrified at what I was reading.  I should add “terrified” was more in the sense of how intricately well the plot worked, how characters played out certain scenes etc.

There are so many things I would love to say about this book, but that would really be doing you a disservice.  This is definitely a book that deserves to be read and enjoyed, it’s evocative, it’s clever, it’s heart wrenchingly oppressive in places and takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of human behaviour.

I shall be hunting out other books by this author, his style of writing was a joy to read and even when the subject was of a more sensitive nature he handled it carefully and respectfully.

You can buy a copy of The One here.

 

About the Author:

John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, England, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.
He has written for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine.
His debut novel The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are.
In July 2016 came his third novel A Thousand Small Explosions.

For more information about John’s books follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1

 

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Published: 1 December 2016
Reviewed: 3 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Transworld / Penguin Random House as part of the blog tour

 

Description:

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

My Thoughts & Review:

What Alice Knew first caught my attention on social media, the cleverly timed tweets by the publisher giving away snippets of information were enough to pique my interest and I immediately requested a copy for review.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the fact that it begins so benignly, an artist painting a portrait, nothing sinister there, not hint towards crime, mystery or thrills but yet it draws the reader in, promising that something sinister lies ahead.
Alice and husband Ed seem the quintessential family with their two children.  Both Alice and Ed have jobs they enjoy and excel at, a wonderful home and all the trappings of a successful life, but when Ed goes missing one night their perfect existence is called into question.

The reader is then plunged into a labyrinthine series of events that boggle the mind.  The author cleverly builds tension and confusion throughout the plot with use of unreliable narration from frantic characters who struggle with the complexities of the situations they are in.  Each action, each lie, each accusation swiftly moves this book to a new level of thriller, the skill in the writing means that the attention of the reader is held captive but all the while they are thinking “what happens next?”  “why did they do that?”  “what does this mean?”

I will admit that when I finished this book I was confused by what I had read and reached out to other bloggers to see what they thought, and the general consensus was that this was a cleverly plotted book, deviously ambiguous and allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions as to the ending.  By doing so, the author allows the reader the freedom to decide which category this thriller falls into – a very nice touch.

The use of art throughout the book is a fantastic metaphor for seeing the truth, being able to look at a subject and actually “see” what’s underneath as opposed to what is on the surface.  The details included about art techniques and styles also adds an authenticity to  Alice and her profession, as well as being generally interesting.

You can buy a copy of What Alice Knew here.

 


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour

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Streets of Darkness

Author: A.A Dhand
Published: 16 June 2016
Reviewed: 6 June 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 supplied by Transworld Books/ Penguin Random House in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

My Thoughts & Review


A chance conversation with Ben Willis at Transworld Books brought about a copy of this beauty arriving on my doorstep, and all I can say is a massive thank you to Ben, he was right, this is an absolute gem of a book!
From the very outset I was gripped, Harry Virdee is a man with a secret, a troubled past and a very troubled present.  Stepping away from the “textbook” police procedural Dhand gives us a protagonist that breaks all the previously set stereotypes.  He’s a Sikh policeman, he’s happily married and not living on an unhealthy diet of takeaways whilst bemoaning his fate.  Instead Harry Virdee is a highly functioning, intelligent and active man, he runs when he can’t sleep and has connections that get results to solve cases.  
But when Harry finds a body when out running he knows he has to call it in, although facing his colleagues and friends on the force whilst suspended isn’t something he’s comfortable with.  When he’s asked to operate under the radar to track down the murder suspect he never envisions the secrets he will unearth along the way. That’s about all I want to say about the plot, there are too many things I could say that might give away little details and this is not a book you want spoilers for!! 
 
This is a gritty novel, with a heart racing pace, indeed I read it in one sitting, desperately reading on to find out what would happen next.  Lies, deception and danger are the key aspects, so when you add in a policeman operating on the edges of what is acceptable this really moves to the next level.  But there are other themes that play an important role in this book, race, religion, family and loyalty are also of equal importance here, reminding us that we are a multicultural society and that actions can affect our future more than we think.  
 
The characters in this are fantastic, very multidimensional and incredibly detailed.  The writing is brilliant, and for a début I am truly impressed.  Dhand has created and woven a complex plot with a clever sub plot running alongside.  He then draws it all together to wrap up the details and shocks the reader with the ending.  
 
I am very grateful to the author for the cultural details Things like the various Sikh and Muslim festivals that take place during the novel are not areas I have much knowledge of, so adding explanations through the narration was definitely a bonus for me.  I felt that I learned something new reading this and really appreciated the authenticity it added to the story.    
I cannot wait to see what Dhand has lined up next for Harry Virdee!  
A.A. Dhand is a name you will want to look out for in the future. 

You can buy a copy of Streets of Darkness here. 
 

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