Synopsis: No. 23 has a secret. In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide.
Collette is on the run from her ex-boss; Cher is an underage children's home escapee; lonely Thomas tries to make friends with his neighbours; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to keep themselves hidden. And there for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on in the house - or thought she did.
Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the six into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim...
Synopsis: Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…
• Enormous Christmas tree
• Eccentric British traditions
• Gorgeous man
But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…
Stevie Mazzetti knew she would never get over the murder of her husband and son. But with their killer behind bars, she was able to move on with her life, if only for her daughter's sake.
Now, eight years later, the Baltimore detective always fights for the victims she meets and when she learns that her ex-partner may have miscarried justice, Stevie's determined to right the wrong, even if it means she is in danger.
Clay Maynard has always wanted Stevie and when she is targeted by a vicious psychopath, he believes that protecting her may give him the chance to have her in his life forever. Clay will do anything to keep Stevie safe but with a killer on her tail who has everything to lose and a secret to hide, will they stay alive long enough to find happiness?
Synopsis: Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much. But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, even Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is a catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.
Not a fan of surprises, Sophie would rather not; why not let sleeping dads lie? Besides, her mother would kill her. With interference from an evil boss, bickering flat mates, warring parents and a sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth. But it soon becomes clear that she will have to face the past and learn some uncomfortable home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.
My Review: This book is Cathy Bramley’s debut novel, yep that’s right her DEBUT. I am flabbergasted (a word I love and that isn’t used enough). Cathy’s debut had the feel of a seasoned pro and I found myself engrossed from the very beginning. Sophie is at first a little bit pathetic, but likeable if you know what I mean. She is the girl who has her head in the clouds, but actually seems to roll over for her vile boyfriend. The boyfriend I spent the most part despising and wondering when somebody was going to give him a slap!
I liked the architect character who is at first just as socially inept as Sophie. But as a character I couldn’t help feeling for him, and wondering why he found himself in such awkward positions half the time. I also rather liked the two flatmates that lives with Sophie as they give another layer to the story, as well as the added drama that comes with two polar opposites (the two are sisters)! As soon as Sophie is given the choice of meeting her absent father in order to gain her aunts house things get so complicated for her. Not only does she have to answer to her mother, but her flatmates as well. In addition to this she has to try and work out if her own opinions matter?!?
The story, although not original, kept me interested from the beginning right through to the very end. Although the idea and storyline may not be original, the way Cathy Bramley tells the story, and brings the characters to life certainly is. If I had read this knowing nothing of her background, I would have made the assumption that she had written numerous books. IF you are a fan of Milly Johnson and the like, then Cathy Bramley will definitely be up your street. I for one, will definitely look forward to her next book, and wouldn't be altogether surprised to see a big publishing house sign her in the coming months. If they don’t, then it’s their loss and Cathy’s gain, a debut that most definitely wasn't like a debut!
Synopsis: With her life expectancy ticking close to zero, Amy Walker’s journey to discover the life she was stolen from has been replaced by a struggle to just keep breathing. Vitali knows Chechnya will provide their next clue but with Amy bleeding heavily she may not even last that long. As they journey across the vast wastelands of Russia the couple have become the number one target for a criminal brotherhood stretching from London to Chechnya and everywhere in-between. The bounty on her head has never been so high but the Moscow Police aren’t after a payday; they just need her dead at any cost. Two death squads are despatched but, motivated by the money, will the gangs get to them first?
Superintendent Needham’s obsession with Walker sees the girl’s origins become the focus of New Scotland Yard. If her instinct is right, Walker’s truth is far darker than she could have ever imagined. But solving crime is only part of Needham’s motivation. What she wants to uncover has the potential to finish off Amy Walker more brutally than any gang member ever could. Needham is convinced that three unsolved cases, linked to dead, London crime lord Vyacheslav Khasbulatov ultimately hold the key to unlocking her dark secrets. She is convinced too that Child No. 3 is on a vigilante quest to murder anyone connected to her abduction, twenty three years ago.
As Amy’s plight moves into ever darker territory, Needham is convinced her secrets lie closer to home. Both routes to Amy’s past are set to collide with each other as well as with the London, Russian and Chechen underworlds.
My Review: Please note if you intend to read the first two books, please don’t read my review as there will inevitably be spoilers in it, I finished the second book in the trilogy and had to continue on with the third just to find out what happens to Amy Walker. The only thing that I noticed is that unless you have read the first two books, it may not be that easy to start in with the third in the series. The only reason I say this is that somebody may well pick this up as a one off book to read, and I feel it might be a little difficult to get into the story. Thankfully, I didn’t have that problem and was following on from book 2.
The book starts off at a breakneck speed as Amy’s life is on the edge at the very start of the book. With Vitali at her side, they are making a perilously dangerous journey through Russia to answer the questions Amy has about where she came from. It’s a tense few chapters and I found myself reading quicker that I usually do. There is a lot of action, even as the pair reach what should be relatively safer ground. Pretty soon, they both realise that their actions has angered what seems like every bent politician, Underworld member and gangster in the face of the planet.
Sadly, me reading the book was put on hold doe to work but a couple of days later I finally got time during a lunch hour and relished the thought of more reading this action packed book. Sadly, I soon realised that reading the book and eating at the same time was not recommended. The book contains some highly graphic, and particularly violent scenes which actually put me off my lunch! I’m not particularly that squeamish, but Phil Martin has done a Stellar job in recreating some particularly horrendous torture scenes (so be warned it may not be for everybody).
This story and the plot, becomes more elaborate as time goes on. Ordinarily I may have said that it stretched to the unbelievable, but for some reason in this book it worked! I found myself becoming toe-curlingly impatient and nervous about the pairs journey and what would happen. There are certainly a lot of plot twists and numerous threads to the story but it kept my interest throughout; literally from the first page to the last. This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed (even though I didn’t particularly like the ending with one particular character) and if you want something very fast paced, then read this trilogy in order. There was also a noticeable difference between the first book and this current one. This latest one was brilliant and certainly hit the spot. First Class read Mr Martin!
Synopsis: Having discovered she was third on a sinister, coded list of children, stolen to order over two decades ago, Amy Walker travels to Monza to meet the blood parents revealed to her in the final breath of the female gangster who snatched her.
However nothing is as it seems in north Milan and Amy will have to fight once more just to stay alive. Only one man can save her. Superintendent Needham and Detective Flowers have all but exhausted the list of stolen children that Amy discovered with each sorry case leading to nothing. Only the details behind one final snatch remain to be discovered.
Zurich provides their last chance to unearth anything positive, could there be another Amy Walker out there; another child snatched but still alive?
My Review: Okay the first thing I need to tell you is that this book is part two of a trilogy. If you intend to read the first in the trilogy, then it’s probably best not to read my review and read that book first. I read the first book some time ago but found it didn’t take me long to get back into the crazy world of Amy Walker. In a nutshell she has discovered that she was part of a stolen list of children to order more than twenty years ago. She is determined to uncover her past and discover her real parents.
From the very beginning of the book Amy’s world once again turns sour. The story takes us quite literally across the waters featuring London, Italy and Russia and the storyline is just as complex. From the outset Amy’s plan goes wrong and once again people’s lives are on the line; only now its people she cares about. The violence is graphic enough to be descriptive, but not too graphic to put me off my food! The one thing I struggled with was the pronunciation of names. I know that sounds ridiculous but when characters have names I can never pronounce I end up re-naming them in my head (ridiculous I know, but otherwise it ruins the flow).
There are loads of plot twists and I found myself not knowing where to look next in terms of who was behind what. The one thing I really enjoyed was her match up with Vitali (can’t say too much) but it worked well and I have to read on to know what happens. Phil Martin managed to leave the second in this trilogy on a complete cliff-hanger, meaning there will be no wait for me and I HAVE to move on to part 3. I enjoyed this book a little more than the first, maybe because I feel like I’ve had the character history, but have a feeling that the next book will be the best yet.
I only have one criticism and that is the covers! I know, a lot of people aren’t bothered as long as the content is good. I just don’t feel like they do the books justice.*Note since this review the covers have been re-done and look much better* I must say that as self-published books go, this is a winner and to be frank at the time of this review all three books are less than £1.60 (with the first being only £1) on Kindle so a bargain as well. A book I really enjoyed but can’t stop, as I must read book 3.
Synopsis: Curl up with Rosie her friends and her family as they prepare for a very special Christmas . . .
Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes large tempting piles of Turkish Delight crinkling selection boxes and happy sticky children. She's going to be spending it with her boyfriend Stephen and her family flying in from Australia. She can't wait.
But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community all of Rosie's plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what's best for the sweetshop also what's best for Rosie?