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Author: Caimh McDonnell

Published: 27 August 2016
Reviewed: 12 September 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by McFori Ink in return for an honest review

 

Description:

An Irish crime thriller with a difference

The first time somebody tried to kill him it was an accident.

The second time was deliberate.

Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together, they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history…

…or else they’ll be history.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Caimh McDonnell is a new name to me, and certainly one I might not have discovered if I’d not stumbled upon a a guest post on another blog to publicise the release of this novel and his animosity towards the title of ‘Comedic Crime’.

Set in Dublin, the reader is immediately thrown into the madness of the story of Paul Mulchrone.  A man with one of those nondescript faces, he has a talent for being a chameleon – generally speaking with those in their geriatric years.  He’s a granny whisperer, a volunteer who visits the elderly folks of St. Kilda’s hospice and speaks to them as whomsoever they wish him to be in their final days – nephew, son, grandson etc.  When Paul does a favour for nurse Brigit Conroy he has no idea who he’s really going in to see, other than a man on his death bed, who the nursing staff think of as lonely.

What then follows is a hilarious madcap tale of one man being in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a nurse in tow.

The humour in this book is absolutely fantastic, the comedy in the descriptions of people is sheer brilliance, perhaps it comes from having Irish family but when I read the description of nurse Brigit I immediately got a clear image in my head of what she looked like, how she acted etc.
All of the characters are various shades of interesting, Paul is brought to life through his back story and his humour – a great character that really has the reader empathising at his plight whilst laughing their head off at the implausibility and fecklessness of it all.
Bunny, well now here’s an interesting character…..if you’ve read any of Stuart MacBride’s books, he’s like the male version of Roberta Steel…..the unkempt and slightly rough around the edges idea but he’s got a charm about him too (diamond in the rough perhaps…..the really REALLY rough sort of stuff).

Despite McDonnell’s dislike of ‘comedic crime’, it really does work for this book, but only if you are willing to accept that in this setting that genre is akin to mastery.  The criminal element to the plot is well created, it’s creeping reach flows well to individuals and their situations, the historical case involved in the story was interesting as well as providing a great starting point for Paul’s sarcasm and humour.

What I want to know is how McDonnell can write something that has the reader on the edge of their seat with the pace and apprehension but also the humour?  Surely he isn’t allowed to be that talented?  Seems a little unfair for other authors out there!

Happily, there’s a note at the back of the book to say that there will be more adventures from Paul and Brigit (and Bunny!), thank goodness, there’s no way you can introduce me to such sheer brilliance then cut me off!!

I definitely recommend buying a copy of this engaging crime thriller, it’s a break from the norm and an utterly fantastic read.

You can buy a copy of A Man With One of Those Faces here.

About the Author:

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Author image and information courtesy of http://whitehairedirishman.com

Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.
His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, he has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He regularly supports Sarah Millican and Gary Delaney on tour and has also brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

To find out more about Caimh and his books go to his website http://whitehairedirishman.com and sign up to his newsletter or follow him on Twitter @Caimh

 

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Author: Jane Corry

Published: 25 August 2016
Reviewed: 27 August 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Penguin in return for an honest review

 

Description:

What if your life was built on a lie?

When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.

But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who’s accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for.

But is he really innocent?

And who is she to judge?

My Thoughts & Review:

When a book opens with the report of a stabbing you know it’s going to be one that doesn’t hold back.  That coupled with those three sentences on the front cover instantly grab the attention of the reader.

The clever use to the radio broadcast at the beginning of the novel sets the bar high for plotting.  Corry really shows her flair for this style of writing by hitting the reader with a shot of information that shrewdly gives nothing unintended away but all the while allows the imagination to start racing ahead and so makes this a gripping and thrilling read.

Taking the reader back fifteen years, Corry then sets about laying the foundations that will lead to demise of Ed.  We are introduced to some fascinating and secretive characters, who are superbly created and intriguingly flawed.  As well as recounting the tale up to the radio broadcast, Corry competently brings her readers back to current time, never once losing her audience while increasing the intensity and twisting the plot.

Jane Corry’s writing is fantastic, she knows just how much of a hint to add in to the narrative to keep a reader hooked but give nothing away.  Once I’d finished this book I sat there thinking “how did I not guess that?!” and I will admit to being surprised by the twists – a sign of good writing and expert plotting.  With so many topics touched upon in one book you might think that there would come a moment where it drags or feels like there’s too much going on but instead it’s fascinating and draws it all together to make a well rounded and thrilling read.

Definitely a book worthy of the domestic noir tagging, and it holds its own against the rst of the books on the shelf.

You can buy a copy of My Husband’s Wife here.

About the Author

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Author image and information courtesy of Amazon

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has written regularly for numerous newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph Weekend section, the Mail on Sunday and Woman. She has spent time working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men – an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her début thriller. ‘I love twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end! My husband says I’m a nightmare to watch dramas with as I love to work out who did it before the final revelation!’

Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world, including The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. Until her recent move to Devon, she was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University. She is also an associate member of the Royal Literary Fund.

Many of Jane’s ideas come during her morning dog-jog along the beach followed by a dip in her wetsuit. (She’s an all-year-round swimmer provided the sea isn’t dangerous.) Jane also loves tennis, walking, reading, yoga, the ‘Quiet’ train carriage (a great ‘office’ for writing) and her family. She’s still coming to terms with being an empty-nester but makes up for it with lots of long-distance nagging! Jane’s second husband was a bachelor family friend who is also Godfather to her children. He makes her laugh every day although they can’t agree on how to load the dishwasher!

You can find Jane on Twitter at @JaneCorryAuthor and on Facebook at JaneCorryAuthor.

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Lie in Wait

Author: G.J. Minett
Published: 25 August 2016
Reviewed: 21 August 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Bonnier Zaffre in return for an honest review

Description:

Owen Hall has always been different. A big man with an unusual fixation, one who prefers to put his trust in number patterns rather than in people, it’s unsurprising that he’d draw the attention of a bully.

Or a murder investigation.

And, in the storm of emotions and accusations that erupts when a violent killing affects a small community, it soon becomes clear that a particularly clever murderer might just get away with it.

All they’d need is a likely suspect . . .

My Thoughts & Review:

Lie in Wait is the second novel penned by Graham Minett, his first The Hidden Legacy was published electronically in November 2015, and secured this reader as an unwavering fan.  I was absolutely delighted when I found out this novel was in the pipeline, I really hope to see more of his writing in the future.

The story opens with a thought provoking prologue, ensuring the reader is captivated.  It’s from here that Minett’s prowess as a writer really shines through, in the hands of lesser authors what follows might evolve into a tangled mess of characters and backstories, but instead he cleverly weaves together a tale of mystery, intrigue, and murder.

As the story develops the separate threads came together flawlessly all the while remaining coherent and thrilling, the pace moves along swiftly and this is a book that deserves to be read in one sitting.  Clearly marking each chapter as either ‘Earlier’ or ‘Now’ means that the reader is able to follow the complex tales from the dual timelines.

The remarkably descriptive setting of South England gives the reader a real feel for the setting, indeed it allows the reader to conjure a clear image mentally which adds to the dark and chilling atmosphere.  The characters are all well developed, each bearing their own unpleasantness, darkness or dangerousness.  It almost felt like a case of which one of these awful people would you attempt to trust the most, superb writing to create such a cast that evoke such ill feeling and mistrust.   I was fascinated at how Minett analysed the relationships between the characters – the school days, tales of life and memories of bullying in particular added to the plot

Minett’s style of writing is absolutely ingenious; clever plotting, richly complex characters that get under the skin of the reader and overall the ability to drop the reader right into the heart of the setting make these books some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

You can pre order a copy of Lie in Wait here.

About the Author

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Image and author information courtesy of Amazon

Graham Minett studied Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge before teaching for several years in Gloucestershire and West Sussex. In 2008 he completed a part-time MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and subsequently won both the inaugural Segora short story competition in 2008 and the Chapter One competition in 2010. The latter consisted of the opening sections of what would eventually become The Hidden Legacy, which earned him contracts not only with Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency but also Twenty7, part of the Bonnier publishing group.

The Hidden Legacy is his first novel and his second, Lie In Wait, will be published as an eBook in August 2016 and as a paperback in February 2017. He is at present planning his third and is still working at the Angmering School.

He lives in West Sussex with his wife and children but retains close links with Cheltenham, where the rest of his family live.

To find out more about Graham Minett’s books go to his Facebook Page  his website http://www.grahamminett.com/ or follow him on Twitter @GJMinett

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