Sunday 22 April 2018

Marina by Aoibheann McCann (2018)

This tragi-comic novel follows Marina from infancy through a troubled childhood and the forging of a lifelong friendship with someone as lost as herself. The story of the heroine’s mental struggles, her musical talent, her escape to London, her offbeat boyfriend, her sojourn in surburbia and eventual return to Ireland builds to a shocking crescendo. It is a narrative so rich with emotion and alive with intimate detail that when you finish reading you wish there could be more.


A dark and compelling debut novel chronicling the life of the musically gifted but emotionally unstable, Marina.
The descriptions of Marina's childhood was fascinating and full of wry humour. I found it difficult to put this book down.
Marina's life in England was a lot different to life in Ireland. She didn't have the safety net that family and friends provide and her life spiralled out of control pretty quickly. There was a dearth of likeable or redeemable characters in this book which added to the darkness and tension that permeated the whole story. I found myself wanting to give Marina a good shake for her choice in men and allowing herself to become abused in the misguided belief that she was 'saving' him. In the end Marina needed saving from herself. 

The author's writing style is very unique and different. Full of imagery, metaphors and told from the perspective of a character whose mind is fractured. The pace of the novel was very quick and I found myself passing quickly over the more thought provoking pieces of prose. Some of Marina's dialogue and inner musings left me with the feeling that I would need to go back and read it again and think about it to fully understand what was going on in her head.  This was especially true at the end of the novel as it ended quite abruptly and tragically. 

Marina complex, unique and brilliant.

Buy Links Amazon

Saturday 14 April 2018

Save Me (Corrupted Hearts #4) by Tiffany Snow (2018)

In this fast-paced romantic suspense, China Mack will make one final choice.
Computer genius China Mack may be the former head of Vigilance, the government’s clandestine spy program, but she can still be knocked off balance. And two back-to-back personal blows have thrown her into a tailspin.
While her relationship with tech billionaire Jackson Cooper is on the rocks, China is testing the boundaries of what she feels for man-of-mystery Clark Slattery. But when China learns that her mother’s death sixteen years ago wasn’t an accident, she can’t rest until she knows the truth. And China’s own father, an elusive ex–CIA agent, might have been the killer. To avenge her mother’s death, she needs help, and both Jackson and Clark step up to the plate. But when her investigation is linked to a decades-old international plot to hack the New York Stock Exchange, putting both of the men she loves in danger, China must make an impossible decision to keep them safe.
As the three of them are plunged into a far-reaching conspiracy, China’s notions of love and trust are turned upside down. For China, this final case couldn’t be more personal—or more dangerous.

What an ending to an incredibly good series.
China has a difficult choice to make in choosing between two men. I had my hopes on Jackson even though I had a soft spot for Clarke as well. The reader is kept in the dark, much like the two guys, right up to the moment where she finally makes her choice at the end of the book.
The love triangle is a central theme running through the series but the story is much more diverse than that. There is the mystery surrounding China's mother's death. Was she murdered? and why? 
China decides to go it alone to track down her mother's killer which leads to the resurfacing of painful memories and to a father with blood on his hands. The events surrounding her mother's death are very sad and emotionally charged. 
A day in the life of China Mack is full of action and suspense. It doesn't matter which mam she spends her day with she will still end up battered after fighting off dangerous criminals. The many twists and turns kept it fresh and exciting.
It helped that there was humour in the interactions between Jackson and Clarke. Their jealousy fuelled them to behave quite juvenile like at times but I liked that they could put their feelings aside to work together in helping China when she needed it the most.
 I loved every minute of this series. I'm already counting the days until the next Tiffany Snow book releases.
Save Me will be available to buy from Tuesday the 17th of April.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (2018)

Publisher's Information
The deliciously sinister new novel from the No 1 bestselling author of Richard and Judy Book Club pick, Lying in Wait

'I could probably have been an actress.
It is not difficult to pretend to be somebody else.
Isn't that what I've been doing for most of my life?'
Cordelia Russell has been living on the French Riviera for twenty-five years, passing herself off as an English socialite. But her luck, and the kindness of strangers, have run out.
The arrival of a visitor from her distant past shocks Cordelia. She reacts violently to the intrusion and flees her flat to spend a drunken night at a glittering party. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. She did not expect the corpse inside to start decomposing quite so quickly . . .
'Bloody brilliant!' Denise Mina
'The finest psychological thriller writer currently at work - no one gets under the skin of monstrous characters like she does' Tammy Cohen
'A wonderful feat of imagination, totally gripping, with a fascinating character at its heart' Sabine Durrant
'Dark, brutal and brilliant' Colette McBeth
'A triumph, from first page to last!' Sarah Hilary
'Monumentally good. Liz Nugent is a beautiful writer and among the very best storytellers in the world' Donal Ryan
'I loved, loved, loved Skin Deep - the compassion of it, the beauty of the language, how glamour and horror intersect, how the tension twists tighter and tighter and is brilliantly done' Marian Keyes
'Dazzling ... chilling, mesmerising and, ultimately, devastating. Pure storytelling genius' Mark Edwards
'Her darkest book yet - a compelling one-sitting read' Sinéad Crowley
'Utterly gripping, fast paced, and featuring my favourite sociopathic female character since Lady Macbeth' Louise O'Neill
'Incredibly dark, twisting and utterly mesmerising - you will not be able to put this down' Sinéad Moriarty
'Pitch dark and thrillingly original' Jane Casey


An absolute cracker of a book. 

This is definitely my favourite of Liz Nugent's books. After reading Lying in Wait I was a little worried that her books were too dark for me but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed Skin Deep.
Cordelia/Delia is a unique, crazy and sometimes evil character but I liked her nonetheless.....I don't know if that makes me crazy too or maybe Liz Nugent is just a literary genius who can inspire sympathy and empathy for a truly awful, train wreck of a person/character. At times I felt like giving Cordelia a good kick whilst simultaneously hoping and wishing my hardest that she wouldn't ruin the next bit of good luck to come her way. 

There is a great range of side characters, some of whom were as equally crazy as Cordelia but maybe just not quite as destructive. I did feel sorry for Harry but by the end of the book I was more disappointed in how weak he proved to be. I was equally surprised at Peter and how emotionally strong and loving he was. I liked him a lot.

This was a brilliant, brilliant book. One I'll be raving about to all and sundry for a long to come.

Skin Deep is out now in all good book shops. 
You can also buy online at with FREE world wide delivery.

Also available on Amazon