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  1. Peter James Need You Dead  Synopsis: Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

    When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    *If you plan to read this series in order, please do not continue to read this review as this is book 13 in the series and will inevitably contain spoilers*

    Kat's Review: I realised quite suddenly that with the newest Peter James nearly upon us I was actually a book behind. Then it dawned on me that the saga that was Sandy was no longer an issue so decided to dive right into the last book. We are introduced to Lorna Belling, a woman that is in an incredibly abusive relationship, but who is being offered another chance with another man to start over. Unfortunately she doesn't get that chance and is found murdered...enter Roy Grace. From the off Roy seems a little unbalanced, however it totally makes sense as he is just getting closure after the death of Sandy his wife who disappeared many years before. However, he still has to face the shocking realisation (that came from the conclusion of the last book) in the form of his ten year old son Bruno who he has only just learnt about. 

    With all of these issues at hand, and loads of staff not being around (Glen Branson his trusty sidekick being one of them) he has a lot on his plate. Add to that his wife Cleo and son Noah, his personal life seems to be one big jumble of activity. Thankfully he has the help in the form of his colleague Guy Batchelor so he becomes the help rather than the main lead. However, it becomes clear pretty early on this will not be straightforward and the book itself leans heavily on the police procedural. 

    The storylines most interesting thread for me was Roy's son Bruno. I think that the next book will hopefully explore this element of Roy's life in greater detail as I feel like this is potentially a great contribution to revving up the series. That opinion to one side, this book was very much a whodunnit and with Glen Branson not at Roy's beck and call it lost a little bit of magic for me. In addition, I thought that Roy and Cleo weren't right, it seemed to have lost some of the character strengths in replacement for the police heavy duties. The ending was somewhat of a mystery as there were a few questions that didn't get answered and I thought were a bit odd, I can only hope these will be addressed in the next book. Overall it was a decent read and I really did enjoy it, but maybe at the cost of areas that were normally more enjoyable. A solid read, but I hope things get back on more of an even keel for the next book.

     

  2. Anna Smith Blood Feud Synopsis: They came for her family. Now she's coming for them. This nail-biting thriller introduces Glasgow's newest gangland mistress, Kerry Casey - a gripping read perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

    Kerry Casey thought she'd made a life away from the dirty dealings of her gangster family. Her father wanted to make them legit - her brother Mickey had other ideas, and now it's got him killed. When Mickey's funeral turns into a bloodbath at the hands of a group of anonymous shooters and Kerry's mother is killed in the crossfire, Kerry finds herself at the head of the Casey family, and desperate for revenge.

    Running a crime empire is not a job she ever asked for, and not one she wants, but Kerry is determined to fulfil her father's wishes and make the Caseys go straight. First, though, she will find the men who murdered her mother, and she will take them down, no matter what it takes.

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

    Kat's Review: I admit when I relaised that Anna Smith had let go of Rosie Gilmour I was devastated. I knew that a new book was looming but who on earth would match up to Rosie Gilmour? Well I can assure you that the Kerry Casey certainly matches up and add to that the fact that the author has just created an absolutely outstanding book and I think we may well have a contender for the book of the year so far! Kerry Casey seems to be the start of a new sweries and what a hell of a book to start it off with.

    Kerry Casey is nothing like her Gangster family, she is a hot shot lawyer who has spent many years living in Spain. However when her brother Mickey is taken out as Kerry attends the funeral she has no idea she is in the middle of what he left behind. When her mother gets killed in the crossfire, Kerry has no choice but to take the reigns for the business. What she didn't realise is just how good at it she would be.

    The other character I loved in this book was Sharon and it made a real change for the women to be the head honcos and to see them building an empire. The additional characters we see are all part of this amazing book and they all made a lasting impression on me. I got a real feel for this etended family and literally am chomping at the bit wondering how long until the next book. I have always been a huge fan of Anna Smith especially her last series, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this series may well be even better!

    I read this in two sittings in just a day and a half and cannot WAIT to see the next book in the series. For those juts as impatient as me I would guess sometime early in 2019 but we can always hope for something sooner. Thanks for an absolute cracker of a read Anna, a truly wonderful book and for me the best this year so far!

  3. 5134opaoflL Synopsis: 

    On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...

    On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...

    And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with...

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

    Kat's Review: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jill Mansell and always have done. The fact that she is still churning out amazing books after 25 years as an Author amazes me, but just shows how truly talented she is. This book has an absolute corker of an opening. Essie is finally settled and living with her boyfriend Paul, when one evening her friend Scarlett visits and they both have a few too many wines. The next morning she is horrified to realise that she has unwittingly sent a round robin email to everybody in her contacts including Paul's mother. Before she knows it, Essie is homeless, jobless and in desperate need of a place to stay...enter Zillah, quite possibly one of my favourite characters Jill Mansell has ever created. 

    Zillah is an elderly yet glamorous woman living in the very upmarket Percival Square in Bath. One thing leads to another and before long Essie lands firmly on her feet when Zillah offers her a room to rent in her own home. Zillah is a gregarious and very lovable character, she is fiercely independent and has that twinkle in her eye meaning she is incredibly popular. Also living with Zillah is Conor who has his own story for ending up in Percival Square. When Essie gets a job working at the bar over the road she is thrilled, that is until she meets the owner of the bar Lucas...he is the root of all her problems. 

    I devoured this book and absolutely loved it. The characters, storyline, absolutely everything worked perfectly and delivered a heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable book. I would recommend all of Jill Mansell's books as they never fail to disappoint, but this one...well it seems a little bit extra special and one that you really should read!