Forthcoming Publications

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26 NOVEMBER

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Review of

Body Language by A K Turner

4.5star.jpg Crime

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Raven is the senior mortuary technician and not only does she talk to the dead, she also hears what they have to say to her. It's not something she's inclined to share with people as she's pretty certain about what their reaction will be. She's certainly not going to share it with the new pathologist, Dr Archie Chuff, wearer of a genuine Barbour jacket and old Harrovian. He's very conscious of his position and isn't even inclined to ask for the view of the anatomical pathology technicians despite the fact that they have a lot more experience than him and he has only a limited amount of time to spend on each body. That will prove to be a mistake. Full Review

8 DECEMBER

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Review of

The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin

5star.jpg Lifestyle

I was in a great mood when I first learnt of this book, and because sarcasm doesn't always translate well into writing, imagine the word great being delivered with an eye roll and a sigh, through clenched teeth. I had spent the best part of a rainy, windy weekend afternoon out on the water at our local sailing club in the rescue rib, on standby in case anyone who was racing needed support. It's a volunteer duty we all do during the year, and normally I'm happy to, but that day the weather was miserable and I was miserable, and it all came to a head that evening when I noticed on the website that we had been thanked for our time as "Dave and wife". Wow. I had never needed this book more. Full Review

10 DECEMBER

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Review of

A Time to Lie by Simon Berthon

5star.jpg Thrillers

A workman has a nasty surprise when he pulls a package out of an excavation on a building site. It's wrapped in part of an old shower curtain and is a hand, severed above the wrist. It's been there for about twenty-five to thirty-five years.

Robin Sandford - generally known as Robbie - is Prime Minister. He's married to heiress Carol van Koon and they have two daughters, Becca and Bella. Sandford's determined to be a better type of politician: he wants a government that is not just practically good, but morally good. One of the ways he's planning on going about this is to ban arms sales to dubious regimes. Henry Morland-Cross, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, wishes that he'd been warned about this: it's easy to see that he wouldn't have been in agreement. Full Review

7 JANUARY 2021

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Review of

The Captive by Deborah O'Connor

4star.jpg Thrillers

Hannah knows the cage, intimately. It lurks in the corner of her eye. Soon, it will be occupied. Then what? What if he speaks to her? What if he escapes? What if he hurts her? What if she hurts him? Full Review

15 JANUARY

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Review of

The Humiliations of Welton Blake by Alex Wheatle

2.5star.jpg Confident Readers

We meet Welton Blake at the worst of times – only they should be the best of times. He should be getting a text from the most bae-worthy girl in school in regards to a cinema date, but his phone has packed up, he's chundered last night's meal and his breakfast over another girl in class, who's duffed him up in response, and the wanna-bae seems to actually be with someone else anyway. On a bigger scale he's living with his mother and not much income now that the dad has left the picture – yes, things are so bad they're resorting to having cabbage for dinner. I know, right? But surely this is just a blip, a day at school to forget, and everything (like his vomit) will all come out in the wash? This can't be the start of a most nightmarish time for young Welton? Full Review

21 JANUARY

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Review of

There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F Ross

4.5star.jpg General Fiction

Years ago, Danny Garvey was a footballing prodigy playing for his local club. Everyone predicted a bright future – but his career in professional football never quite worked out. Thirteen years on, convinced to return home by his "uncle" Higgy to visit his dying mother, Danny takes over the shambolic and once-great team he used to play for and tries to reform them. Full Review

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Review of

Kokoschka's Doll by Afonso Cruz and Rahul Bery (translator)

2.5star.jpg Literary Fiction

Well, this looked very much like a book I could love from the get-go, which is why I picked my review copy up and flipped pages over several times before actually reading any of it. I found things to potentially delight me each time – a weird section in the middle on darker stock paper, a chapter whose number was in the 20,000s, letters used as narrative form, and so on. It intrigued with the subterranean voice a man hears in wartorn Dresden that what little I knew of it mentioned, too. But you've seen the star rating that comes with this review, and can tell that if love was on these pages, it was not actually caused by them. So what happened? Full Review

2 FEBRUARY

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Review of

This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

4star.jpg Teens

Jess is a normal 90's teenage girl, just trying to navigate the usual stresses of school, and boys, and parent troubles. But strange things seem to be happening in her small town, with a mystery flu keeping lots of people indoors, and a strange metal device, with an apple on it, that slips out of her friend's bag, but that her friends just won't talk to her about. Jess feels like she might be hearing voices, and her sister (who is very ill) seems to be responding to her in strange ways sometimes. Is there something going on beneath the surface of Jess' life? Full Review

4 FEBRUARY

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Review of

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher

3.5star.jpg General Fiction

Faye lost her mum when she was very young. She was raised by some elderly neighbours after her mum died from a cold that got worse, and although they were kind and very good to her she of course missed her mum enormously. So when, unexpectedly, she discovers a time travel conduit (via an old space hopper box in her attic) that takes her back to the 70's and her mum, she revels in the chance to create some memories and get to know the woman who meant so much to her. The time travelling, however, is neither easy nor safe, and Faye fears that her husband won't believe what's happening and so lies to him instead. The lies grow more tangled, and Faye begins to wonder if it's safe for her to return one last time to the past. Should she try to see her mum one last time before her mum's death, or will it change her own future forever to attempt it? Full Review

28 FEBRUARY

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Review of

The Treasure in the Tower by Rob Keeley

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Rob Keeley is back! Hooray! We here at Bookbag Towers are always happy to read a new adventure from Rob - his stories combine fast pace and lots of action, an easy to read style, an unerring eye for children's friendships and rivalries, and always a good dollop of naughty humour. They're all present here, in The Treasure in the Tower. The chance purchase of a book during a school trip sparks the whole adventure. Who can follow the clues best and find the treasure? Jess, her brother Mason and their friend Kessie through sheer persistence? Or spoiled brat Perdita with her money and tech gadgets and willingness to cheat? Full Review

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