Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz: interesting but unsatisfying thriller

Sherlock Holmes is dead.
Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind.
Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Chase must hunt down this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.
The game is afoot . . .

My review:

Having loved the first book in this series, The House of Silk (well worth a read if you’ve not done so already), I was really looking forward to this follow up and read the whole story very quickly as a result. It’s not entirely what I expected – yes, the description is fabulous and you do really feel as if you’re walking through Victorian London with all the sights, sounds and smells that entails. The plot is also first-rate.

However, neither Holmes nor Watson appear in the novel until the very end (via a curious short story addendum) and there is therefore a great sense of frustration. The level of violence is also more than is necessary to my mind and I didn’t need to have such detailed descriptions of it. The ultimate twist is good, but not what I hoped for and the end is ultimately very unsatisfying indeed. If there’s a third book, then we do really need to have Holmes and Watson in it! Please?…

Anne Brooke Books

Holding by Graham Norton: old-fashioned charm in a page-turning read

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.
So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

My review:

A well written and interesting debut novel from Graham Norton. The characters are well portrayed and very sympathetic, and the small village setting is beautifully described. There’s an old-fashioned feel about it – particularly in the way that setting tends to be described before we get to the character in each chapter – but that itself has charm and doesn’t negate the page-turning quality of the story. The ending was very satisfying indeed.

Anne Brooke Books

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter: an average pot boiler

pretty-girls

Aspects of this novel which I enjoyed were: the fast pace; the strong women characters, the sections with the dead father; and the poignant ending.

Aspects I disliked were: the level of violence was ridiculously melodramatic and on occasions laughable (sorry!) – this is no Silence of the Lambs, that’s for sure. The plot was highly unlikely, and also sometimes made me giggle with disbelief. The villain was very cliched and one-dimensional, and there were far too many coincidences.

On the whole then, not a great success and basically an average crime genre pot-boiler.

3 out of 5 stars

Anne Brooke Books

Thorn in the Flesh: psychological thriller

Psychological thriller Thorn in the Flesh has just been republished today at Amazon with a delightful new cover, that I absolutely love!

Kate Harris, a lecturer in her late thirties, is attacked in her home and left for dead. The assault and the hate letters she starts to receive bring to light the past she longs to leave behind, a past which includes the son she chose to give away.

What happens to Kate also affects the people she counts as friends and colleagues. She has loved her best friend, Nicky, for a long time but Nicky is happily married with two young children, and Kate is determined never to damage the lives of those she cares for.

However, when she makes the decision to contact the father of her son, Kate sets in motion a series of terrifying events she has no control over. Can she save herself and those she loves from the menacing enemy who stalks them?

Thorn in the Flesh was longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards 2006.

Reviews:

“Thorn in the Flesh is emotionally stirring, dealing with circumstances that most of us will never understand … Despite never having been in Kate’s circumstances, the story made me think about my own life and where I am currently. I recommend the book to everyone.” (Open Book Society Reviews)

“Thorn in the Flesh is a slow burning mystery woven into the ordinary lives of a close-knit group of friends. This is a great choice for readers who prefer to get to know characters well before the plot heats up. The payoff at the end is well worth the initial emotional investment!” (Long and Short Reviews)

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Blog 110: Happy Valentine Weekend – Free Book Friday!

Happy Valentine Weekend to all, however you’re spending your time! This week for Free Book Friday, it’s the turn of quirky crime novel The Gangster’s Wife which is FREE at Amazon today and tomorrow only!

When 53-year-old Elise Walker returns home after a day at the office to find her husband Gerald dead of a heart attack, she doesn’t expect a visit from the police with revelations about Gerald’s secret life.

Soon, however, her own life takes a distinctive turn for the surreal, with missing loot, online crime and curious neighbours the least of her problems. Not to mention trying to deal with never-ending funeral arrangements and stay on top of her job.

Thank goodness then for the support of her ever-reliable boss, Hugh. But will even he turn against her when she decides to contact Gerald’s former gang members to find out more? And what is the real significance of the note Gerald left her? Most important of all, if Elise ever finds the money, will she be able to keep it?

Reviews:

“I loved the character developments in this story, and the character of Elise is exciting as well. I was engrossed in this one from start to finish, and would definitely recommend it.” (From a 5-star review at Amazon UK)

“an excellent novel that keeps the reader entertained.” (From a 5-star review at Amazon UK)

“I absolutely loved this book because it was engrossing, fast, and very realistic.” (From a 5-star review at Amazon US)

Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Blog 94: A BIG thank you from The Gangster’s Wife!

Quirky crime novel The Gangster’s Wife was downloaded well over 1500 times over a 2-day period at Amazon as a free book, so a BIG thank you to everyone for that!

When 53-year-old Elise Walker returns home after a day at the office to find her husband Gerald dead of a heart attack, she doesn’t expect a visit from the police with revelations about Gerald’s secret life.

Soon, however, her own life takes a distinctive turn for the surreal, with missing loot, online crime and curious neighbours the least of her problems. Not to mention trying to deal with never-ending funeral arrangements and stay on top of her job.

Thank goodness then for the support of her ever-reliable boss, Hugh. But will even he turn against her when she decides to contact Gerald’s former gang members to find out more? And what is the real significance of the note Gerald left her? Most important of all, if Elise ever finds the money, will she be able to keep it?

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Dryathlon 2015: Supporting Cancer Research UK

Blog 93: FREE book – Acclaimed crime novel The Gangster’s Wife

Crime novel The Gangster’s Wife is FREE at Amazon until tomorrow only so don’t miss out – especially as it’s now received no less than NINE 5-star reviews at Amazon US, well gosh!

When 53-year-old Elise Walker returns home after a day at the office to find her husband Gerald dead of a heart attack, she doesn’t expect a visit from the police with revelations about Gerald’s secret life.

Soon, however, her own life takes a distinctive turn for the surreal, with missing loot, online crime and curious neighbours the least of her problems. Not to mention trying to deal with never-ending funeral arrangements and stay on top of her job.

Thank goodness then for the support of her ever-reliable boss, Hugh. But will even he turn against her when she decides to contact Gerald’s former gang members to find out more? And what is the real significance of the note Gerald left her? Most important of all, if Elise ever finds the money, will she be able to keep it?

Here is a medley of the latest Amazon reviews:
“I loved this book. It was thrilling and kept me wanting to find out more along with the main character … Well written for anyone to enjoy!”
“I absolutely loved this book because it was engrossing, fast and very realising – It is the kind of book that you can put down and think to yourself: ‘OK, who do I know that is leading a double life?'”
“Love, love, love this book! Elise is a woman I totally relate to … The book was beautifully worded and moved right along without lingering on its beautiful prose … Read this book. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Like a great movie … I would recommend it to anyone who wants to escape in a weird, but catchy story.”
“I absolutely loved this book, very fast paced and interesting story! It is a fun read! I did not want to put this book down! Thanks, Anne Brooke, for a great read.”
Gosh and phew – not bad then for a book I couldn’t get any publishers to take a punt on as they thought readers wouldn’t like it, hey ho … I’m very glad that some readers do, that’s for sure!
If you do pick up the book, I’d be very grateful if you left a review, whatever you think – as reviews are lifelines to indie authors such as myself – many thanks, and happy reading!