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{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author= Justine Avery and Naday Meldova
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|isbn=suppl_stafl
|title=Everybody Toots! (Everybody Potties!)
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|title=Supply Chain 20/20: A Clear View  on the Local Multiplier Effect for Book Lovers
 +
|author=Kim Staflund
 +
|rating=4.5
 +
|genre=Reference
 +
|summary=So, you've finished writing your book and you think the hard work is all done?  You're convinced that all you need to do now is get it published and the money will start rolling in?
 +
 
 +
Wrong and wrong again.  You presumably wrote the book because you wanted to - and you had a talent for delivering the written word.  You knew your subject back to front.  Now you're going to have to get to grips with the book supply chain, which even parts of the publishing industry believe to be wrong but it's too difficult to change and no one wants to be the first to try.  Then, when you ''finally'' have a copy of the book in your hands, you're going to have to work out how to sell it - because it ''is'' going to be down to you.
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1398706906
 +
|title=The Lost
 +
|author=Simon Beckett
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=For Sharing
 
|summary= Toots, trumps, farts. Whatever your word for them, find us a child that doesn't find them irresistibly funny. Funny to talk about and joke about, that is. But horribly embarrassing if you let one go at the wrong time. In class, say, when everyone will hear it and everyone will laugh. At you. Justine Avery's latest entry in her ''Everybody Potties!'' series takes aim at any shame associated with tooting and gently and calmly, with the familiar humour attached, explains that tooting is perfectly normal. Everybody does it: ''Everybody Toots''!
 
|isbn= B09C2RVJ2W
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|isbn=1784165263
 
|title=Invite Me In
 
|author=Emma Curtis
 
|rating=4.5
 
 
|genre=Crime
 
|genre=Crime
|summary=Martin Curran's wife, Eliza knew that she had to be home to make his lunch for one o'clock on the dot, despite the fact that she was actually painting one of their properties prior to it being letIf she didn't get home, there would be troubleThere was some excuse: Martin was a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, but don't be too quick to be understanding.  He was also a very unpleasant person: he once told Eliza ''you're good at being a disappointment''.  All this was in Eliza's mind when she first met Dan Jones who arrived, unannounced, at the flat just as Eliza was about to leave: he wanted the lease of flat 2, 42 Linden Road and he was desperate to get in before it was advertised as being available.
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|summary=The disappearance of Metropolitan police firearms officer, Jonah Colley's young son, Theo, just about finished him, particularly as he blamed himself for what had happened.  He'd fallen asleep in the park whilst Theo was playing and when he woke, Theo had goneIt cost him his marriage and his home.  Ten years later he's largely come through it and he's out with his team when he gets a phone call from DS Gavin McKinney.  Gavin used to be his best friend but it's a long time since they've spoken.  He's obviously in some difficulty now - Jonah can hear it in his voice - and he asks Jonah to meet him at Slaughter Quay.  ''There's no one else I can trust'', he says.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1784742775
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|author=Amanda Mason
|title=A Change of Circumstance (Simon Serrailler)
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|title=The Hiding Place
|author=Susan Hill
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|rating=3.5
 +
|genre=Horror
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|summary=Needing an escape from their turbulent life, Nell Galilee takes her husband and stepdaughter to Whitby, where they rent a cliffside holiday cottage by the name of Elder House. She hopes that it will be the perfect place to sort things out. But there's something not quite right about Elder House. The atmosphere is unsettling and off – and before long Nell starts to suspect that she and her family aren't alone there…
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|isbn=1838771964
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}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author=Paul Cleave
 +
|title=The Quiet People
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
 
|genre=Crime
 
|genre=Crime
|summary=Drugs hadn't really been that much of a problem in Lafferton and Detective Superintendent Simon Serrailler had thought of drugs ops as a bit of a waste of time. They still were, to a great extent, but Serrailler knew that something had to be done. Children as young as nine were being recruited to transport the drugs and the operation running the county lines was tight. A mule might know the name (although it probably wouldn't be the correct one) of the person who was running him but he certainly wouldn't know anything about those higher up in the organisation. The police might catch a few of the runners but they'd never get anywhere near those higher up.
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|summary= I am not a fan of "the Prologue". Most books are the worse for them. In this case I might make an exception. We start with Luca Pittman who is in a hurry. He has to hurry because he has children that he should not have, and when he hurries, when he bundles things into the back of his car and tries to run and then hears sirens behind him, which he should not hear because this is New Zealand and that is not how they do things there, he takes a risk. It ends badly.
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|isbn=1913193942
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B09FS89KX9
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|author=Will Carver
|title=Fall On Me
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|title=Psychopaths Anonymous
|author=Penelope Potts
 
 
|rating=3.5
 
|rating=3.5
|genre=Women's Fiction
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|genre=Thrillers
|summary=Life should have been good for Hollie:  She was just going into the final year of her veterinary degree and - three years later - was still working at BB's diner.  Bob - the owner - regarded her fondly: he was a good boss. Hollie had moved in with her boyfriend, Marcus: her mother thought he was great and he was doing well in his career.  Hollie wasn't quite so certain though: Marcus wanted to control her and most of all he wanted her to leave her job at the diner.  Then there was the fact that he would be violent, both to her and to other people.
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|summary=Maeve is a high functioning alcoholic, drinking continuously and also, curiously, addicted to attending numerous AA groups. She is also a self-acknowledged psychopath. Whilst analysing and critiquing the AA steps she is mainly using the groups to find targets...targets for sexual encounters, targets to feed her desire to hear of people's misery, and targets for her violent behaviour. Yet she also seems to be searching for others who think as she does, and when she's unable to find like-minded people in any of the groups she decides to set up her own, hoping to encounter others who share similar obsessions, and thus Psychopaths Anonymous is born.
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|isbn=1913193756
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=John Gwynne
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|isbn=1529418100
|title=The Shadow Of The Gods
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|title=Bruno's Challenge and Other Dordogne Tales
|rating=5
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|author=Martin Walker
|genre=Fantasy
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|rating=4
|summary=The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle.
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|genre=Short Stories
|isbn=0356514218
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|summary=I'm not usually a fan of short stories - I find it all too easy to put the book down between stories and forget to pick it up again - but I am a fan of Martin Walker's [[Martin Walker's Commissar Bruno Courreges Mysteries in Chronological Order|Bruno Courreges Mysteries]] so the temptation to read ''Bruno's Challenge'' was hard to resist and I'm rather glad that I didn't even try. For those new to the series, there's an excellent introduction that will tell you all you need to know about who's who and the background to why Bruno is in St Denis.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B09HTWX47X
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|isbn=B09GJW49GF
|title=Endless Obsession
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|title=Buried Lies (Gaby Darin Book 5)
|author=Dai Henley
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|author=Jenny O'Brien
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
 
|genre=Crime
 
|genre=Crime
|summary=It's some years since we last caught up with Andy Flood, formerly a DCI in the Met but now a well-respected private investigatorHe's married to Laura, formerly his DS in the Murder Squad but now working in a forensics laboratoryFlood's daughters, Gemma and Pippa, have flown the nest, Pippa to Australia, from where she has very little contact with the family, and Gemma to married life.  She's had mental problems since she was abducted many years ago but Andy and Laura hope that married life will provide the support she needs.  Flood's business is going well and that was why he felt able to turn down the case of Lisa Black.
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|summary=Hannah Thomas was having her first night away from her sonHunter had diabetes and this was controlled by a pump attached to his stomach, so her over-protectiveness was understandable, but her fiance, Ian, was pestering her to get married and she thought it would be a good idea for him to find out what parenting was ''really'' likeHer friend, Milly, had arranged to take her boyfriend, Liam, for a night in a posh hotel but then he dumped her and she couldn't get the money back, so Hannah was offered the opportunity to go in his place.  She would return home to find Ian dead and five-year-old Hunter missing.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Peter Papathanasiou
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|isbn=B09GV3WS1Q
|title=The Stoning
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|title=Without a Trace
|rating=3.5
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|author=Jane Bettany
|genre=Thrillers
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|rating=4
|summary=In a town sleazy enough to make sh*tholes elsewhere look glamorous in comparison, a teacher has been transported across town at night in a shopping trolley, and she's been taped to a tree and she's had rocks bowled at her as if she were the world's tallest cricket stumps. When she's discovered by the town gossip everyone, including the local cops, are quite confident the culprit has come from the immigrant detention centre the place is reluctantly home to. An arson attack on that shows the feeling – and it's only fair, is the general opinion, for the occupants are often setting their own fires in protest at their conditions. Cue the arrival of George Manolis, a higher rank from the city, to sort everything out. Because such an aggrieved, insular community is really going to welcome a Greek-heritaged city boy laying down the law...
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|genre=Crime
|isbn=1529416973
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|summary=Life hadn't been easy for Ruth Prendergast: she'd just come through a divorce and right now it was raining hard.  All she wanted was to get back to her new home and settle down for a quiet evening. It wasn't going to be though: when she went into her bedroom she found a dead man on her bed with a knife in his chest. She'd no idea who he was.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B08Z8BMZ7H
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|isbn=1838774823
|title=The Mystery of Healing
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|title=Her Majesty the Queen Investigates: A Three Dog Problem
|author=A P McGrath
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|author=S J Bennett
|rating=4
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|rating=5
|genre=Crime (Historical)
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|genre=Crime
|summary=We meet Solon in Pergamon in the second century of the common era and he's the physician on duty at the munus - the games put on for the amusement of the populace.  The remuneration isn't high but the work gives the doctor a feeling of virtue and hones his skills: Solon ''wants'' the warriors to liveIt's quite a spectacle: the magistri are the charge hands and when we first see them, they're sprinkling gold dust onto the lions' manes to make them look more impressive.  The sagitarii are the archers and the beastiarii are the condemned criminals who are going to fight for their lives with the wild animalsToday, it's the crocodiles.
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|summary=It's 2016 and the Queen's Private Secretary, Sir Simon Holcroft has decided that too much good claret and too little exercise is putting a strain on his waistband.  Swimming, he decides, is the way to go and he can use the Buckingham Palace pool which is how he came to be there early one morning and discovered the body of Cynthia Harris at the side of the poolThere was broken glass - a crystal tumbler, by the look at it - probably one of the young royals being careless - and it looked as though Mrs Harris had slipped and cut herself so badly that she had bled outStill, it was a shock for Sir Simon.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall
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|isbn=057136358X
|title=The Beatryce Prophecy
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|title=April in Spain
 +
|author=John Banville
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
|genre=Confident Readers
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|genre=Crime (Historical)
|summary=''Stories have joy and surprises in them'', we are told here. And none more so than in this wondrous story, which feels an instant classic with the freshness and the agelessness it has in equal proportion. We start with a group of monks, the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing, and the demonic goat that loves nothing more than upending, trampling on and biting the poor Brothers. Things change drastically when the beast takes a totally maternal approach to a homeless girl, one who has survived some trauma that has blocked her past from her memory. Elsewhere sits a King in his castle, desperate to find the girl, for it is prophesied that a young child can unseat the throne and cause great change. Who foretold that revolution but the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing?  But how can a simple, amnesiac lass ever prove a threat to anyone?
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|summary=Terry Tice was a hitman, although he didn't think of himself in those terms.  He saw what he did as ''a matter of making things tidy''. I couldn't resist the thought that he was an extreme version of Marie Kondo.  He enjoyed his job, something which occurred to him when he was in Burma with the army ''where he got the chance to kill a lot of the little yellow fellows and had a fine old time''. He was spending a lot of time with Percy Antrobus - who couldn't understand why Terry didn't know the purpose of a swizzle stick - surely he wouldn't drink champagne with bubbles in the ''morning''?  It was after Percy's death that he saw the benefits of taking up a job in Spain.
|isbn=1529500893
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B09FFJF8YS
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|author=Dave Letterfly Knoderer
|title=You Can't Wear Panties! (No More Nappies!)
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|title=Speedy: Hurled Through Havoc
|author=Justine Avery and Kate Zhoidik
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|rating=4
|rating=3.5
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|genre=Autobiography
|genre=For Sharing
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|summary=How to summarise the life of Dave Letterfly Knodererv in a pithy sentence to kick off a review of his memoir? Do you know, I really don't think I can.
|summary=''For the big, grownup girls out there, the potty masters in training, "You Can't Wear Panties!" is a cry (the big-girl kind!) of toilet triumph and persevering panty pride.''
 
  
  
And so it is! This latest book from Justine Avery celebrates a little girl's final goodbye to nappies and pull-ups and graduation to "proper" pants by following her around as she proudly explains to her dog, her cat, her stuffed rabbit and her baby sibling that ''she'' can wear super-duper proper pants, while they cannot. Neither can the flowers, nor the fish, nor the birds. Boy's certainly can't. She's a big girl now and she wants everyone to know it!
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Dave is an author and an artist. An inspirational speaker and a professional horseman. And a recovering alcoholic. The son of a Lutheran minister, he's struggled with a controlling father, run away to join the circus (not a metaphor), trained horses, painted caravans, designed and painted theatre sets, and hit rock bottom when the bottle took over.
}}  
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|isbn=B0965V3LLN
 +
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Nick Lake and Emily Gravett
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|author=Tade Thompson
|title=Locked Out Lily
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|title=Far From the Light of Heaven
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Confident Readers
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|genre=Science Fiction
|summary=Lily is, or was, or has been, very ill, and to give her parents relief she's been told to stay with her grandma for a few days. The parents need the relief as Lily's baby sibling is just about to be born – a child Lily swears she hates already and wants nothing to do with. But on tracking back home for word of her parents (and her plush toy so she can sleep) she finds stony-eyed simulacra of her parents, and the babe-in-arms, already installed. These devilish interlopers need to be ousted to get the family back intact, even if it's not the family Lily wants – and all she has to help her in the task are some talking animals – Crow, Mole, Mouse and Snake.
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|summary=Michelle 'Shell' Campion is fulfilling her lifelong dream of going to space. As first officer aboard the sleeper ship Ragtime, bound for the world of Bloodroot, she will essentially be a babysitter for the ship's AI captain. However, when she wakes up at the end of her trip to find dozens of her passengers butchered and the Ragtime's AI almost non-responsive, she begins to realise that her first mission won't be going as smoothly as she hoped it would. Down on Bloodroot, disgraced investigator Rasheed Fin and his android partner Salvo are sent up to discover exactly what went wrong on the Ragtime. Meanwhile, former astronaut and friend of Shell's father Lawrence Biz takes a shuttle to Bloodroot, half-alien daughter in tow, to see why the Ragtime has gone quiet, leaving behind the politicking and bureaucracy of Space Station Lagos. What the five of them discover on the Ragtime has ramifications not just for Bloodroot, but potentially the entirety of human space…
|isbn=1471194833
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|isbn=0356514323
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Greg James and Chris Smith
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|author=Rob Keeley
|title=The Great Dream Robbery
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|title= Carrots Don’t Grow On Trees!
|rating=5
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|rating= 4
|genre=Confident Readers
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|genre=For Sharing
|summary=Maya's father is a professor who invented an amazing dream machine. But something went wrong, and now he can't wake up. Or at least, that's what Maya has been told. In a rather strange dream one night Maya makes a new friend, and discovers that the only way to save her dad may be by being asleep. Cue one madcap action adventure story where dreams and reality collide...really...and there's everything from llamas and bananas, dream machines made from hairdresser cast-offs, to a talking cat called Bin Bag!
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|summary= Lily loves eating fruit and vegetables. She likes carrots, broccoli, cabbage and aubergines. When her friends at school turn up their noses, Lily is keen to explain how good they are for you and how nice to eat. One day, poor Lily gets tricked by Jordan, who tells her that carrots grow on trees. Infuriated, Lily checks with the teacher, who explains that fruits grow on trees and vegetables, like carrots, grow in the ground. Jordan says, "I did try to tell her, Miss!" and everyone laughs at poor Lily.
|isbn=024147051X
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|isbn= B09HHN541V
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1800464495
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|isbn=178607981X
|title= 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths
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|title=Bad Apples
|author=Emma Smith
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|author=Will Dean
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Children's Non-Fiction
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|genre=Crime
|summary=''Babies seem to be born with an amazing number sense: understanding shapes in the womb, being aware of quantities at seven hours old, assessing probability at six months old, and comprehending addition and subtraction at nine months old.''
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|summary=Tuva Moodyson was driving up a foggy hillside towards Visberg when she discovered an Audi 4x4 parked at the side of the road.  Wondering if someone needed help she got out of the car - and heard the screams from deep inside the forest.  Determining the direction of a sound isn't easy when you need hearing aids and dampness is causing interference but Tuva made her way to where a woman was holding her coat over the body of a man. He'd been decapitated.  He was Arne Gustav Persson, a resident of Visberg.
 +
}}
  
Did you know this? I didn't! How about:
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{{Frontpage
 
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|author=Lilja Sigurdadottir
''Maths ability on entry to school is a strong predictor of later achievement, double that of literacy skills.''
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|title=Cold As Hell
 
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|rating=4
I didn't know this either! I think most parents are aware that giving your children a good start in literacy - reading stories, teaching pen grips, singing rhymes - gives children a solid foundation when they start school. But do we think the same way about maths, beyond counting? I don't think we do, in part because so many of us are afraid of maths. But why are we? Most of us use maths in daily life without realising and it follows that giving our children a similar pre-school grounding will be just as beneficial.
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|genre=Crime
 +
|summary= In a red suitcase as the bottom of a fissure in a lava field, there is a body. And the man who has put her there has just discovered that he is capable of killing.
 +
|isbn=1913193888
 
}}
 
}}
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Robert Peston
 
|title=The Whistleblower
 
|rating=3
 
|genre=Thrillers
 
|summary=I'm not the first to point out how fitting it is for Robert Peston to write a political thriller, so I'll move on quickly – but this won't be winning any awards for originality. It's an interesting plot with a good pace, but it does very little to differentiate itself and I suspect before much time has passed I'll have forgotten a lot of it.
 
|isbn=1838775242
 
}}
 
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1529379385
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|author=Lucy Hope
|title=The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Gamache)
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|title=Fledgling
|author=Louise Penny
 
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Crime
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|genre=Confident Readers
|summary=In the Canadian village of Three Pines, we're post-pandemic: the scars are still there but life is starting to get back to normal. The villagers are beginning to return to the Bistro and the Auberge.  They're visiting each other's homes and having friends and relatives to stay.  A young Sudanese woman who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is one such visitor and she soon proves that not all saints are necessarily pleasant people to be around - a bit like Vincent Gilbert, known in the village as the Asshole Saint.
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|summary=Bavaria, 1900. Our scene is a most peculiar hilltop house, built bit by bit over the decades, and now looking imperiously down on the village and woods below. It's an eccentric house, to host eccentrics, so the library shelving system is not as we'd know it, the roof is retractable, there is a steam-powered, hand-operated lift system cut through it, and so on. At the moment it houses an ex-soldier with PTSD and a passion for the long-standing family hobby of taxidermy, a woman who does nothing but quibble, kvetch and sing opera loudly, and the dying grandma to our heroine, Cassie, a young lass who has to do all the maintenance of this bizarre machine-like abode. Oh but it's also going to house someone or something else, when crashing through Cassie's bedroom window one stormy day is a cherub. And if you think such a heavenly arrival is going to be a completely great and wonderful thing, think again...
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|isbn=183994188X
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn= B09F4CTKJR
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|isbn=1846276772
|title= Flights for Freedom
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|title=The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds
|author= Steven Burgauer
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|author=Jessica Nordell
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Historical Fiction
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|genre=Politics and Society
|summary=It's the later stages of World War I and the United States has just entered the conflict. Petrol Petronus is a young American who has signed up and joined the 17 Aero Squadron. This company was the first US Aero Squadron to be trained in Canada, the first to be attached to the RAF and the first to be sent into the skies to fight the Germans in active combat. But before that can happen, Petrol has to master flying the notoriously difficult but majestic Sopwith Camel.
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|summary=Anyone who is not an able, white man understands bias in that they may no longer even recognise the extent to which they suffer from it: it's simply a part of everyday life.  White men will always come first.  The able will come before the disabled.  Jobs, promotions, higher salaries are the preserve of the white man. Even when those who wouldn't pass the medical become a part of an organisation it's rare that their views are heard, that their concerns are acknowledged. It's personally appalling and degrading for the individuals on the receiving end of the bias but it's not just the individuals who are negatively impacted.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=183885410X
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|author=Teresa Driscoll
|title=The Dark Remains
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|title=Her Perfect Family
|author=William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin
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|rating=5
|rating=3.5
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|genre=Thrillers
|genre=Crime
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|summary=The novel begins by introducing you to Gemma, who at first instance appears to be your average student, faced with the familiar horrifying realisation, at the eleventh hour, that her graduation outfit is all wrong. Suddenly, Gemma receives an eerie message stating ''He is not who he says he is…'', paving the way for the sinister tone that remains throughout the novel. In a twist of events, and after a change of outfit, Gemma is shot in the midst of her graduation ceremony. With Gemma then in a coma, what follows is a complex whodunit with a list of suspects that continues to grow the further you read.
|summary=Bobby Carter was a lawyer and consigliere to one of the major crime families in nineteen seventies Glasgow.  DC Jack Laidlaw is on the CID team charged with the investigation. I say ''on the team'' but Laidlaw never really seems to be a part of it.  He does his own thing, goes his own way and ''The Dark Remains'' uncovers the truth of why Bobby Carter's body was found behind one of Glasgow's seedier pubs.
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|isbn=1542028752
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1942410255
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|isbn=8409290103
|title=Tokyo Zangyo (Detective Hiroshi)
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|title=If Only
|author=Michael Pronko
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|author=Matthew Tree
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Crime
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|genre=Literary Fiction
|summary=''Zangyo: overtime work, often unpaid''
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|summary=Twenty-one-year-old Malcolm Lowry had been sent abroad by his father, cotton-broker AO Lowry: he asked his accountant, Mr Patrick, to ensure that the young man got on board the boat and thereafter Patrick was to send him a monthly allowance. Patrick sent the money regularly and a correspondence - of sorts - sprang up between the two although we hear more about what Lowry has to say than Patrick.   It wasn't that Lowry senior didn't care for his son, it was that he didn't care to have him in this country where he might be a danger to his wife and other childrenThe alcohol problem was obvious even before Patrick managed to get the young man on his way.
 
 
It's the culture, isn't it? The hours for which you're paid are really just a statement of the minimum you'll be required to do: you'll work more hours to get the job done and done to the satisfaction of bullies like Shigeru Onizuka. When he was found dead in front of Senden Central's headquarters in Tokyo there was nothing in the way of regret or grief, even from his family, but there was a mild curiosity as to whether he'd jumped from the roof of the building or been assisted in his descentGossip revolves around the fact that he left the roof at the exact same spot that an employee, Mayu Yamase, had committed suicide some three years earlier.  She'd accused Onizuka of bullying her and forcing her to work an unreasonable amount of overtime.
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=0241425425
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|author=Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston (translator)
|title=The Man Who Died Twice
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|title=The Rabbit Factor
|author=Richard Osman
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|rating=3.5
|rating=4.5
 
 
|genre=Crime
 
|genre=Crime
|summary=Elizabeth Best was a little surprised when she received the letter. It came from a man whose body she had helped to pull from the Thames and who had never existed but then this is the sort of conundrum which retired spies have to deal with on a regular basis. When she visits the sender of the letter (he's moved into the Cooper's Chase Retirement Village) it comes as no surprise that it's someone with whom she has a long professional history - and who used to be her husband. He's made a bad mistake - something to do with a mask being removed within the range of a CCTV camera on a raid, a missing twenty-million pounds in diamonds and a few death threats. He's now in hiding with a young woman called Polly, who's his MI5 handler as well as being an incompetent waitress.
+
|summary=Meet Henri. With a mind so much more focused on maths and calculations than it is other human beings, he's perfect for his job in the insurance company – until they decide he's not a team-member, that they'd prefer everyone to be all open-plan, holistic and keen on stupid-as workshopping. This is when he finds his brother has died, having a heart attack while busy changing his Volvo's radio channel, and has left Henri everything. Unfortunately (or otherwise) that 'everything' is just an adventure park, and nothing else. ''YouMeFun'' is so not what Henri wants to occupy his mind, but he perks up a little when he sees huge holes in the finances – it runs at a steady money-moving pace, despite some desultory staff ideas, but loans have been made out and the amount vanished. Fortunately (or otherwise) some people are quickly on the scene to explain that missing money – it's been turned into a gambling debt that has also now been inherited by Henri, and the activities of these guys are not conducive to getting a cheap life insurance plan...
 +
|isbn=191319387X
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Andrew Sharp
+
|isbn=1471179311
|title=The Chef, the Bird and the Blessing
+
|title=The Unheard
|rating=4
+
|author=Nicci French
|genre=General Fiction
+
|rating=4.5
|summary= Chef Mlantushi - Mozzy to his employer - is, in his mind, the head chef of a safari business catering to VIP guests in an unnamed African country. Mozzy is earnest and dedicated to his task and he puts all of himself into creating fine cuisine dishes for the guests at BOD-W safaris but his dream is to become the head chef of a restaurant in London or a big American city. Even to win a Michelin star. He is thwarted in this ambition by his boss, Mr Bin (Ben to you and me) who incurs Mozzy's disapproval for his scruffy ways, his uninterest in his guests and - shock, horror - his allowing of bush animals into the house.
+
|genre=Thrillers
|isbn=B09926MK8H
+
|summary=Tess, a teacher and Jason, a headmaster, have split up: she and Poppy have moved out of the family home and Jason is now married to Emily.  The separation was amicable - they had just drifted apart.  They co-parent three-year-old Poppy who has her bedroom in what was the family home and another in the flat she shares with her mother. It ''seemed'' to be working well until the day that Poppy came home with a menacing drawing of a woman falling from a tall building and she started swearing, using words she was unlikely to have heard in either home.  Her behaviour deteriorated and there were problems at nursery school.  Tess turns to a therapist for help, then her doctor and finally the police but no one will take what she has to say seriously.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Alex Foulkes
+
|isbn=1471196615
|title=Rules for Vampires
+
|title=Iced
 +
|author=Felix Francis
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Thrillers
|summary= Eleonore Von Motteberg (or 'Leo' for short) is a Vampire. She drinks blood, she sleeps during the day, and she can Grimwalk (turning into a flock of bats to travel around, although not all of them remember to come back). Pretty cool stuff. Now, on the night of her hundredth birthnight, she has to go out and hunt her first human. However, instead she ends up killing two humans by accident and burning down an orphanage. Oops! And to make things worse, the ghosts of one of the orphans and the evil master of the orphanage come back to haunt her. So, not only does Leo have to team up with the friendly ghost Minna to stop the ghost of the Orphanmaster before he becomes unstoppably powerful, she has to do it all while hiding it from her family. Did I mention vampires and ghosts hate each other? Yeah, there's a reason why there are rules for vampires…
+
|summary=Miles Pussett used to be a Steeplechase jockey but those days are past and he now gets his thrills from hurling head-first down the three-quarter-mile Cresta Run, occasionally reaching eighty miles an hour. He was in St Moritz the same weekend as White Turf - that's high-class horseracing on the frozen lake and against his better judgement he gets talked into helping with the saddling of the horses. It's seven years since he put horseracing behind him and he swore that he'd never go back to it. But when he sees that something suspicious is going on, Miles can't help but look for answers, even when it puts him in danger.
|isbn=147119955X
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Tori Bovalino
+
|isbn=147228612X
|title=The Devil Makes Three
+
|title=The Late Train to Gipsy Hill
 +
|author=Alan Johnson
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Teens
+
|genre=Thrillers
|summary= Working all summer in her boarding school's library is the last thing Tess Matheson wants to do — especially when she gets a request for over a hundred books that she has to deliver herself. What makes it worse is the man who requested the books: Mr Birch. The boarding school's headmaster, and a man Tess hates. As a petty act of revenge for making her find and deliver such a large request, Tess sticks post-it notes on each of the books, scribbled with the ugliest insults she can think of. They're never meant to reach him, of course. Her plan is to get her anger out like this, and then take them all off before delivering them. No harm done… Or it would be, if someone hadn't delivered them for her.
+
|summary=We all know people like Gary Nelson, although we probably haven't taken much notice of them.  They live quiet, uneventful lives and stay mostly under the radar.  In a city like London, that's quite easy - and even Gary's three flatmates largely ignore him.  The highlight of his day is watching a beautiful young woman apply her makeup as she goes to work on the train each morning: he'd love to ask her for a date but he doesn't have the courage. Then, on his homeward commute, Arina speaks to him and asks for his help. Before long he finds himself on the run from mobsters, Russian secret agents and the Metropolitan police.
|isbn=1789098130
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn= B09BG8V3Q6
+
|author=Claire McGowan
|title= Who Needs Nappies? Not Me! (Everybody Potties!)
+
|title=I Know You
|author= Justine Avery and Seema Amjad
+
|rating=4
|rating=4.5
+
|genre=Thrillers
|genre=For Sharing
+
|summary=''Then:'' Casey returns from a walk with the baby, Carson, and comes across three bodies, almost a whole family taken down.
|summary= ''Who Needs Nappies? Not Me!'' is the latest release in the ''Everybody Potties!'' series from Justine Avery. This series of fun picture books aims to take the pain out of potty training children and replace it with some fun. It's a worthy aim, as any frustrated parent will tell you.  .
+
 
 +
''Now:'' Rachel is out for a walk with her dog, Brandy, when she comes across a body in the woods.
 +
|isbn=1542019974
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B098FFFBH9
+
|isbn=1529148251
|title=Snowcub
+
|title=Misfits: A Personal Manifesto
|author=Graham Fulbright
+
|author=Michaela Coel
|rating=4.5
+
|rating=5
|genre=Literary Fiction
+
|genre=Politics and Society
|summary=Fourteen-year-old Rachel is her school's animal rights project leader and she and her friend are producing a competition entry to highlight the way in which human beings exploit the animal world. She gets a great deal of support from her family: father Pip Harrison, a lecturer at Imperial College, London, mother Kate and her twin, NickKate runs the family business, a toy shop called Cornucopia in Putney, which is where we'll meet Rachel's main (if unsuspected) source of information: five soft toys.
+
|summary=''How am I able to be so transparent on paper about rape, malpractice and poverty, yet still compartmentalise?  It's as though I were telling the truth whilst simultaneously running away from it.''
 +
 
 +
Before you start reading ''Misfits'' you need to be in a certain frame of mind. You're not going to read a book of essays or a self-help book.  You're going to read writing which was inspired by Michaela Coel's 2018 MacTaggart Lecture to professionals within the television industry at the Edinburgh TV FestivalYou might be ''reading'' the book but you need to ''listen'' to the words as though you're in the lecture theatre.  The disjointedness will fade away and you'll be carried on a cloud of exquisite writing.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author= Angharad Walker
+
|isbn=0008433631
|title= The Ash House
+
|title=Next of Kin
|rating= 5
+
|author=Kia Abdullah
|genre= Confident Readers
+
|rating=5
|summary= A new boy arrives at The Ash House. He doesn't know his name, or why he is there but he is used to the system, used to different places and different faces. He meets Dom who names him Sol and sets out to teach him the rules of The Ash House. These rules centre on a variety of Nicenesses set out by the absent Headmaster. All children must remember their Niceness and complete their chores, working as a hive in the smouldering shadows of The Ash House. But soon their easy peace is shattered by the arrival of the Doctor. By the end of the story, lives will be changed forever and The Ash House will never be the same again.
+
|genre=Thrillers
|isbn=1912626977
+
|summary=It was the sort of thing that happened every day, although not to Leila Syed. She'd never driven her nephew, Max, to school before but his father, Andrew Hanson, had rung her in a panic.  He was supposed to be taking Max to school but he'd been called into work and the delay in getting there could lead to financial losses. As the school was only five minutes out of Leila's way, could she drop him off?  Of course, she could and a sleeping Max was duly strapped into the back of her car. On the way Leila took a phone call - there was panic at her work too, with a problem which could put a multi-million-pound contract at risk.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Yancey Williams
+
|author= Justine Avery and Naday Meldova
|title=Crosshairs of the Devil
+
|title=Everybody Toots! (Everybody Potties!)
|rating=4.5
+
|rating=4
|genre=Literary Fiction
+
|genre=For Sharing
|summary=Award-winning crime writer Eddie Jablonski is getting on in years and, despite his strenuous objections and thanks to his daughter, finds himself living - or imprisoned, from Eddie's point of view - in room 315 of the Garden of Eden nursing home, with only a trusty nursing aide, Jenkins, for palatable company. Nothing is going to keep Eddie from his stock-in-trade of writing though, so here, for his readers, are his wanderings through his life's work.
+
|summary= Toots, trumps, farts. Whatever your word for them, find us a child that doesn't find them irresistibly funny. Funny to talk about and joke about, that is. But horribly embarrassing if you let one go at the wrong time. In class, say, when everyone will hear it and everyone will laugh. At you. Justine Avery's latest entry in her ''Everybody Potties!'' series takes aim at any shame associated with tooting and gently and calmly, with the familiar humour attached, explains that tooting is perfectly normal. Everybody does it: ''Everybody Toots''!
|isbn=0986031658
+
|isbn= B09C2RVJ2W
 
}}  
 
}}  
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Philip Reeve
+
|isbn=1784165263
|title=Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep
+
|title=Invite Me In
|rating=5
+
|author=Emma Curtis
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|rating=4.5
|summary=In a word, rich. There is certainly an abundance of riches in this story set on a peculiar island called Wildsea, British but way west, beyond the Scillies. There are troll people on it, and sea-witches, and legends of the Dark family that has to keep watch for magical islands and their monster approaching from even further west, where no ship dare sail. The current Darks are the Watcher, Andrewe, who has to keep notes of activity from the Hidden Lands, his brother Will who lives in London with too much science in his head to worry about such local yokel superstitions, and Andrewe's foundling daughter, who washed up out of the sea one day eleven years ago. But when Andrewe Dark drowns himself, both his sullen brother and his curious ward are thrust into the world of protecting their island, like it or not.
+
|genre=Crime
|isbn=1788452372
+
|summary=Martin Curran's wife, Eliza knew that she had to be home to make his lunch for one o'clock on the dot, despite the fact that she was actually painting one of their properties prior to it being let.  If she didn't get home, there would be trouble. There was some excuse: Martin was a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, but don't be too quick to be understanding.  He was also a very unpleasant person: he once told Eliza ''you're good at being a disappointment''.  All this was in Eliza's mind when she first met Dan Jones who arrived, unannounced, at the flat just as Eliza was about to leave: he wanted the lease of flat 2, 42 Linden Road and he was desperate to get in before it was advertised as being available.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Erling Kagge
+
|isbn=1784742775
|title=Walking: One Step At A Time
+
|title=A Change of Circumstance (Simon Serrailler)
 +
|author=Susan Hill
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
|genre= Lifestyle
+
|genre=Crime
|summary= Those who have read my reviews before will know that how much I loved a book is evidenced by the number of pages with corners turned, so let me start this one with an apology to the Norfolk Library Service: sorry! I forgot it was your book not mine. In my defence, I will say that as a reader of this type of book there is something connective about noting where prior readers were inspired (provided it is subtle – I'll allow creased corners, but not scribbles – for the latter we must buy our own copy – which I am about to do as soon as I have finished telling you why).
+
|summary=Drugs hadn't really been that much of a problem in Lafferton and Detective Superintendent Simon Serrailler had thought of drugs ops as a bit of a waste of time. They still were, to a great extent, but Serrailler knew that something had to be done. Children as young as nine were being recruited to transport the drugs and the operation running the county lines was tight. A mule might know the name (although it probably wouldn't be the correct one) of the person who was running him but he certainly wouldn't know anything about those higher up in the organisation. The police might catch a few of the runners but they'd never get anywhere near those higher up.
 
 
Erligg Kagge is a Norwegian explorer who has walked to the South Pole, the North Pole and the summit of Everest. He knows a thing or two about walking. However, this isn't a travelogue about any of those epic journeys, it is instead a thoughtful exploration of what it means to walk. It is a plenitude of unnumbered essays about walking. There is no 'contents' page and I haven't counted. In small format paperback, each essay is only a few pages long. Perhaps then, better thought of as a meditation rather than an essay.
 
|isbn=0241357705
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Ian Mark and Louis Ghibault
+
|isbn=B09FS89KX9
|title=Monster Hunting For Beginners
+
|title=Fall On Me
|rating=4.5
+
|author=Penelope Potts
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|rating=3.5
|summary=Meet Jack. Now Jack knows very little about being fearless and nimble and quick, for he's a slight boy, and although he wants for danger and peril and interesting things his dad refuses to let him out of his sight. That's because Jack's mother knew all about monsters, and look what happened to her – she died. Luckily or unluckily then, depending on your point of view, a giant ogre will threaten his aunt when Jack's father also goes AWOL, Jack will fluke the ogre's death, a dwarfish wizard-type will make him an apprentice monster hunter, and he'll be given a book that tells him all he needs to know about the perils he always wanted closer contact with. The book's name? ''Monster Hunting for Beginners''...
+
|genre=Women's Fiction
|isbn=0755501942
+
|summary=Life should have been good for Hollie:  She was just going into the final year of her veterinary degree and - three years later - was still working at BB's diner.  Bob - the owner - regarded her fondly: he was a good boss.  Hollie had moved in with her boyfriend, Marcus: her mother thought he was great and he was doing well in his career.  Hollie wasn't quite so certain though: Marcus wanted to control her and most of all he wanted her to leave her job at the diner. Then there was the fact that he would be violent, both to her and to other people.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Keith Gray
+
|author=John Gwynne
|title=The Climbers
+
|title=The Shadow Of The Gods
|rating=4
+
|rating=5
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Fantasy
|summary=Sully is the best tree climber in the village. He has what's known amongst the kids as 'reach'. But what happens when a new kid shows up in town? A new kid, called Nottingham, who clambers up some of the hardest trees with ease? Suddenly Sully is worried that his status is being threatened, and not only that, that his chance to name the final, unnamed big tree in the park by being the first to conquer it, might be snatched from his hands. How can Sully stop Nottingham? And will it cost him his best friend, or maybe even all of his friends, to do so?
+
|summary=The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle.
|isbn=1781129991
+
|isbn=0356514218
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Emma Carroll
+
|isbn=B09HTWX47X
|title=The Week at World's End
+
|title=Endless Obsession
 +
|author=Dai Henley
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=First, the title. We're in World's End Close, a mediocre set of houses, where Stevie (Vie to her friends) finds fun only with the family dog and with the boy over the road. But we could also be at World's End, because something taking a great chunk of the fun away is the fact that the Cuban Missile Crisis is kicking off. The Soviet boats are getting blockaded as America tries to reduce the risk of nuclear missiles offshore, and not much else is able to make the news. That said, Vie has news of her own – Anna, a secretive young woman hiding in their coal shed. Anna has, in no short time, taken a strong interest in the American airforce base behind the Close, said she'd locate something she wanted and leave, failed to leave, and implied her life was at risk. But surely this bit of intrigue has got nothing to do with what the Cold War is doing miles away?
+
|summary=It's some years since we last caught up with Andy Flood, formerly a DCI in the Met but now a well-respected private investigator. He's married to Laura, formerly his DS in the Murder Squad but now working in a forensics laboratory. Flood's daughters, Gemma and Pippa, have flown the nest, Pippa to Australia, from where she has very little contact with the family, and Gemma to married lifeShe's had mental problems since she was abducted many years ago but Andy and Laura hope that married life will provide the support she needsFlood's business is going well and that was why he felt able to turn down the case of Lisa Black.
|isbn=0571364438
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston
 
|title=Julia and the Shark
 
|rating=4
 
|genre=Confident Readers
 
|summary=Julia, our pre-teen heroine, has been packed off with her parents and their cat from the family home in SW England to be lighthousekeepers for a summer, in the far NE of the Scottish islandsHere be Vikings, that kind of Scottish islandDad is going to be automating the lantern, which is his specialist thing, while mum will be leaving her career in algae behind to hunt the elusive Greenland shark.  And Julia, well, she will be homesick and alone – until she suddenly finds company one night.
 
|isbn=1510107789
 
 
}}
 
}}

Latest revision as of 08:54, 30 November 2021

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Review of

Supply Chain 20/20: A Clear View on the Local Multiplier Effect for Book Lovers by Kim Staflund

4.5star.jpg Reference

So, you've finished writing your book and you think the hard work is all done? You're convinced that all you need to do now is get it published and the money will start rolling in?

Wrong and wrong again. You presumably wrote the book because you wanted to - and you had a talent for delivering the written word. You knew your subject back to front. Now you're going to have to get to grips with the book supply chain, which even parts of the publishing industry believe to be wrong but it's too difficult to change and no one wants to be the first to try. Then, when you finally have a copy of the book in your hands, you're going to have to work out how to sell it - because it is going to be down to you. Full Review

1398706906.jpg

Review of

The Lost by Simon Beckett

4star.jpg Crime

The disappearance of Metropolitan police firearms officer, Jonah Colley's young son, Theo, just about finished him, particularly as he blamed himself for what had happened. He'd fallen asleep in the park whilst Theo was playing and when he woke, Theo had gone. It cost him his marriage and his home. Ten years later he's largely come through it and he's out with his team when he gets a phone call from DS Gavin McKinney. Gavin used to be his best friend but it's a long time since they've spoken. He's obviously in some difficulty now - Jonah can hear it in his voice - and he asks Jonah to meet him at Slaughter Quay. There's no one else I can trust, he says. Full Review

1838771964.jpg

Review of

The Hiding Place by Amanda Mason

3.5star.jpg Horror

Needing an escape from their turbulent life, Nell Galilee takes her husband and stepdaughter to Whitby, where they rent a cliffside holiday cottage by the name of Elder House. She hopes that it will be the perfect place to sort things out. But there's something not quite right about Elder House. The atmosphere is unsettling and off – and before long Nell starts to suspect that she and her family aren't alone there… Full Review

1913193942.jpg

Review of

The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

5star.jpg Crime

I am not a fan of "the Prologue". Most books are the worse for them. In this case I might make an exception. We start with Luca Pittman who is in a hurry. He has to hurry because he has children that he should not have, and when he hurries, when he bundles things into the back of his car and tries to run and then hears sirens behind him, which he should not hear because this is New Zealand and that is not how they do things there, he takes a risk. It ends badly. Full Review

1913193756.jpg

Review of

Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

Maeve is a high functioning alcoholic, drinking continuously and also, curiously, addicted to attending numerous AA groups. She is also a self-acknowledged psychopath. Whilst analysing and critiquing the AA steps she is mainly using the groups to find targets...targets for sexual encounters, targets to feed her desire to hear of people's misery, and targets for her violent behaviour. Yet she also seems to be searching for others who think as she does, and when she's unable to find like-minded people in any of the groups she decides to set up her own, hoping to encounter others who share similar obsessions, and thus Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Full Review

1529418100.jpg

Review of

Bruno's Challenge and Other Dordogne Tales by Martin Walker

4star.jpg Short Stories

I'm not usually a fan of short stories - I find it all too easy to put the book down between stories and forget to pick it up again - but I am a fan of Martin Walker's Bruno Courreges Mysteries so the temptation to read Bruno's Challenge was hard to resist and I'm rather glad that I didn't even try. For those new to the series, there's an excellent introduction that will tell you all you need to know about who's who and the background to why Bruno is in St Denis. Full Review

B09GJW49GF.jpg

Review of

Buried Lies (Gaby Darin Book 5) by Jenny O'Brien

4star.jpg Crime

Hannah Thomas was having her first night away from her son. Hunter had diabetes and this was controlled by a pump attached to his stomach, so her over-protectiveness was understandable, but her fiance, Ian, was pestering her to get married and she thought it would be a good idea for him to find out what parenting was really like. Her friend, Milly, had arranged to take her boyfriend, Liam, for a night in a posh hotel but then he dumped her and she couldn't get the money back, so Hannah was offered the opportunity to go in his place. She would return home to find Ian dead and five-year-old Hunter missing. Full Review

B09GV3WS1Q.jpg

Review of

Without a Trace by Jane Bettany

4star.jpg Crime

Life hadn't been easy for Ruth Prendergast: she'd just come through a divorce and right now it was raining hard. All she wanted was to get back to her new home and settle down for a quiet evening. It wasn't going to be though: when she went into her bedroom she found a dead man on her bed with a knife in his chest. She'd no idea who he was. Full Review

1838774823.jpg

Review of

Her Majesty the Queen Investigates: A Three Dog Problem by S J Bennett

5star.jpg Crime

It's 2016 and the Queen's Private Secretary, Sir Simon Holcroft has decided that too much good claret and too little exercise is putting a strain on his waistband. Swimming, he decides, is the way to go and he can use the Buckingham Palace pool which is how he came to be there early one morning and discovered the body of Cynthia Harris at the side of the pool. There was broken glass - a crystal tumbler, by the look at it - probably one of the young royals being careless - and it looked as though Mrs Harris had slipped and cut herself so badly that she had bled out. Still, it was a shock for Sir Simon. Full Review

057136358X.jpg

Review of

April in Spain by John Banville

5star.jpg Crime (Historical)

Terry Tice was a hitman, although he didn't think of himself in those terms. He saw what he did as a matter of making things tidy. I couldn't resist the thought that he was an extreme version of Marie Kondo. He enjoyed his job, something which occurred to him when he was in Burma with the army where he got the chance to kill a lot of the little yellow fellows and had a fine old time. He was spending a lot of time with Percy Antrobus - who couldn't understand why Terry didn't know the purpose of a swizzle stick - surely he wouldn't drink champagne with bubbles in the morning? It was after Percy's death that he saw the benefits of taking up a job in Spain. Full Review

B0965V3LLN.jpg

Review of

Speedy: Hurled Through Havoc by Dave Letterfly Knoderer

4star.jpg Autobiography

How to summarise the life of Dave Letterfly Knodererv in a pithy sentence to kick off a review of his memoir? Do you know, I really don't think I can.


Dave is an author and an artist. An inspirational speaker and a professional horseman. And a recovering alcoholic. The son of a Lutheran minister, he's struggled with a controlling father, run away to join the circus (not a metaphor), trained horses, painted caravans, designed and painted theatre sets, and hit rock bottom when the bottle took over. Full Review

0356514323.jpg

Review of

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

4.5star.jpg Science Fiction

Michelle 'Shell' Campion is fulfilling her lifelong dream of going to space. As first officer aboard the sleeper ship Ragtime, bound for the world of Bloodroot, she will essentially be a babysitter for the ship's AI captain. However, when she wakes up at the end of her trip to find dozens of her passengers butchered and the Ragtime's AI almost non-responsive, she begins to realise that her first mission won't be going as smoothly as she hoped it would. Down on Bloodroot, disgraced investigator Rasheed Fin and his android partner Salvo are sent up to discover exactly what went wrong on the Ragtime. Meanwhile, former astronaut and friend of Shell's father Lawrence Biz takes a shuttle to Bloodroot, half-alien daughter in tow, to see why the Ragtime has gone quiet, leaving behind the politicking and bureaucracy of Space Station Lagos. What the five of them discover on the Ragtime has ramifications not just for Bloodroot, but potentially the entirety of human space… Full Review

B09HHN541V.jpg

Review of

Carrots Don’t Grow On Trees! by Rob Keeley

4star.jpg For Sharing

Lily loves eating fruit and vegetables. She likes carrots, broccoli, cabbage and aubergines. When her friends at school turn up their noses, Lily is keen to explain how good they are for you and how nice to eat. One day, poor Lily gets tricked by Jordan, who tells her that carrots grow on trees. Infuriated, Lily checks with the teacher, who explains that fruits grow on trees and vegetables, like carrots, grow in the ground. Jordan says, "I did try to tell her, Miss!" and everyone laughs at poor Lily. Full Review

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Review of

Bad Apples by Will Dean

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Tuva Moodyson was driving up a foggy hillside towards Visberg when she discovered an Audi 4x4 parked at the side of the road. Wondering if someone needed help she got out of the car - and heard the screams from deep inside the forest. Determining the direction of a sound isn't easy when you need hearing aids and dampness is causing interference but Tuva made her way to where a woman was holding her coat over the body of a man. He'd been decapitated. He was Arne Gustav Persson, a resident of Visberg. Full Review

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Review of

Cold As Hell by Lilja Sigurdadottir

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In a red suitcase as the bottom of a fissure in a lava field, there is a body. And the man who has put her there has just discovered that he is capable of killing. Full Review

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Review of

Fledgling by Lucy Hope

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Bavaria, 1900. Our scene is a most peculiar hilltop house, built bit by bit over the decades, and now looking imperiously down on the village and woods below. It's an eccentric house, to host eccentrics, so the library shelving system is not as we'd know it, the roof is retractable, there is a steam-powered, hand-operated lift system cut through it, and so on. At the moment it houses an ex-soldier with PTSD and a passion for the long-standing family hobby of taxidermy, a woman who does nothing but quibble, kvetch and sing opera loudly, and the dying grandma to our heroine, Cassie, a young lass who has to do all the maintenance of this bizarre machine-like abode. Oh but it's also going to house someone or something else, when crashing through Cassie's bedroom window one stormy day is a cherub. And if you think such a heavenly arrival is going to be a completely great and wonderful thing, think again... Full Review

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Review of

The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell

4.5star.jpg Politics and Society

Anyone who is not an able, white man understands bias in that they may no longer even recognise the extent to which they suffer from it: it's simply a part of everyday life. White men will always come first. The able will come before the disabled. Jobs, promotions, higher salaries are the preserve of the white man. Even when those who wouldn't pass the medical become a part of an organisation it's rare that their views are heard, that their concerns are acknowledged. It's personally appalling and degrading for the individuals on the receiving end of the bias but it's not just the individuals who are negatively impacted. Full Review

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Review of

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll

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The novel begins by introducing you to Gemma, who at first instance appears to be your average student, faced with the familiar horrifying realisation, at the eleventh hour, that her graduation outfit is all wrong. Suddenly, Gemma receives an eerie message stating He is not who he says he is…, paving the way for the sinister tone that remains throughout the novel. In a twist of events, and after a change of outfit, Gemma is shot in the midst of her graduation ceremony. With Gemma then in a coma, what follows is a complex whodunit with a list of suspects that continues to grow the further you read. Full Review

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Review of

If Only by Matthew Tree

4.5star.jpg Literary Fiction

Twenty-one-year-old Malcolm Lowry had been sent abroad by his father, cotton-broker AO Lowry: he asked his accountant, Mr Patrick, to ensure that the young man got on board the boat and thereafter Patrick was to send him a monthly allowance. Patrick sent the money regularly and a correspondence - of sorts - sprang up between the two although we hear more about what Lowry has to say than Patrick. It wasn't that Lowry senior didn't care for his son, it was that he didn't care to have him in this country where he might be a danger to his wife and other children. The alcohol problem was obvious even before Patrick managed to get the young man on his way. Full Review

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Review of

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston (translator)

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Meet Henri. With a mind so much more focused on maths and calculations than it is other human beings, he's perfect for his job in the insurance company – until they decide he's not a team-member, that they'd prefer everyone to be all open-plan, holistic and keen on stupid-as workshopping. This is when he finds his brother has died, having a heart attack while busy changing his Volvo's radio channel, and has left Henri everything. Unfortunately (or otherwise) that 'everything' is just an adventure park, and nothing else. YouMeFun is so not what Henri wants to occupy his mind, but he perks up a little when he sees huge holes in the finances – it runs at a steady money-moving pace, despite some desultory staff ideas, but loans have been made out and the amount vanished. Fortunately (or otherwise) some people are quickly on the scene to explain that missing money – it's been turned into a gambling debt that has also now been inherited by Henri, and the activities of these guys are not conducive to getting a cheap life insurance plan... Full Review

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Review of

The Unheard by Nicci French

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Tess, a teacher and Jason, a headmaster, have split up: she and Poppy have moved out of the family home and Jason is now married to Emily. The separation was amicable - they had just drifted apart. They co-parent three-year-old Poppy who has her bedroom in what was the family home and another in the flat she shares with her mother. It seemed to be working well until the day that Poppy came home with a menacing drawing of a woman falling from a tall building and she started swearing, using words she was unlikely to have heard in either home. Her behaviour deteriorated and there were problems at nursery school. Tess turns to a therapist for help, then her doctor and finally the police but no one will take what she has to say seriously. Full Review

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Review of

Iced by Felix Francis

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Miles Pussett used to be a Steeplechase jockey but those days are past and he now gets his thrills from hurling head-first down the three-quarter-mile Cresta Run, occasionally reaching eighty miles an hour. He was in St Moritz the same weekend as White Turf - that's high-class horseracing on the frozen lake and against his better judgement he gets talked into helping with the saddling of the horses. It's seven years since he put horseracing behind him and he swore that he'd never go back to it. But when he sees that something suspicious is going on, Miles can't help but look for answers, even when it puts him in danger. Full Review

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Review of

The Late Train to Gipsy Hill by Alan Johnson

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We all know people like Gary Nelson, although we probably haven't taken much notice of them. They live quiet, uneventful lives and stay mostly under the radar. In a city like London, that's quite easy - and even Gary's three flatmates largely ignore him. The highlight of his day is watching a beautiful young woman apply her makeup as she goes to work on the train each morning: he'd love to ask her for a date but he doesn't have the courage. Then, on his homeward commute, Arina speaks to him and asks for his help. Before long he finds himself on the run from mobsters, Russian secret agents and the Metropolitan police. Full Review

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Review of

I Know You by Claire McGowan

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Then: Casey returns from a walk with the baby, Carson, and comes across three bodies, almost a whole family taken down.

Now: Rachel is out for a walk with her dog, Brandy, when she comes across a body in the woods. Full Review

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Review of

Misfits: A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel

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How am I able to be so transparent on paper about rape, malpractice and poverty, yet still compartmentalise? It's as though I were telling the truth whilst simultaneously running away from it.

Before you start reading Misfits you need to be in a certain frame of mind. You're not going to read a book of essays or a self-help book. You're going to read writing which was inspired by Michaela Coel's 2018 MacTaggart Lecture to professionals within the television industry at the Edinburgh TV Festival. You might be reading the book but you need to listen to the words as though you're in the lecture theatre. The disjointedness will fade away and you'll be carried on a cloud of exquisite writing. Full Review

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Review of

Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

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It was the sort of thing that happened every day, although not to Leila Syed. She'd never driven her nephew, Max, to school before but his father, Andrew Hanson, had rung her in a panic. He was supposed to be taking Max to school but he'd been called into work and the delay in getting there could lead to financial losses. As the school was only five minutes out of Leila's way, could she drop him off? Of course, she could and a sleeping Max was duly strapped into the back of her car. On the way Leila took a phone call - there was panic at her work too, with a problem which could put a multi-million-pound contract at risk. Full Review

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Review of

Everybody Toots! (Everybody Potties!) by Justine Avery and Naday Meldova

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Toots, trumps, farts. Whatever your word for them, find us a child that doesn't find them irresistibly funny. Funny to talk about and joke about, that is. But horribly embarrassing if you let one go at the wrong time. In class, say, when everyone will hear it and everyone will laugh. At you. Justine Avery's latest entry in her Everybody Potties! series takes aim at any shame associated with tooting and gently and calmly, with the familiar humour attached, explains that tooting is perfectly normal. Everybody does it: Everybody Toots! Full Review

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Review of

Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

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Martin Curran's wife, Eliza knew that she had to be home to make his lunch for one o'clock on the dot, despite the fact that she was actually painting one of their properties prior to it being let. If she didn't get home, there would be trouble. There was some excuse: Martin was a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, but don't be too quick to be understanding. He was also a very unpleasant person: he once told Eliza you're good at being a disappointment. All this was in Eliza's mind when she first met Dan Jones who arrived, unannounced, at the flat just as Eliza was about to leave: he wanted the lease of flat 2, 42 Linden Road and he was desperate to get in before it was advertised as being available. Full Review

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Review of

A Change of Circumstance (Simon Serrailler) by Susan Hill

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Drugs hadn't really been that much of a problem in Lafferton and Detective Superintendent Simon Serrailler had thought of drugs ops as a bit of a waste of time. They still were, to a great extent, but Serrailler knew that something had to be done. Children as young as nine were being recruited to transport the drugs and the operation running the county lines was tight. A mule might know the name (although it probably wouldn't be the correct one) of the person who was running him but he certainly wouldn't know anything about those higher up in the organisation. The police might catch a few of the runners but they'd never get anywhere near those higher up. Full Review

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Review of

Fall On Me by Penelope Potts

3.5star.jpg Women's Fiction

Life should have been good for Hollie: She was just going into the final year of her veterinary degree and - three years later - was still working at BB's diner. Bob - the owner - regarded her fondly: he was a good boss. Hollie had moved in with her boyfriend, Marcus: her mother thought he was great and he was doing well in his career. Hollie wasn't quite so certain though: Marcus wanted to control her and most of all he wanted her to leave her job at the diner. Then there was the fact that he would be violent, both to her and to other people. Full Review

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Review of

The Shadow Of The Gods by John Gwynne

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The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle. Full Review

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Review of

Endless Obsession by Dai Henley

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It's some years since we last caught up with Andy Flood, formerly a DCI in the Met but now a well-respected private investigator. He's married to Laura, formerly his DS in the Murder Squad but now working in a forensics laboratory. Flood's daughters, Gemma and Pippa, have flown the nest, Pippa to Australia, from where she has very little contact with the family, and Gemma to married life. She's had mental problems since she was abducted many years ago but Andy and Laura hope that married life will provide the support she needs. Flood's business is going well and that was why he felt able to turn down the case of Lisa Black. Full Review