Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cragside - L J Ross


Cragside is the latest instalment in the brilliant DCI Ryan series and one I couldn’t wait to start and I wasn’t disappointed. 

DCI Ryan and Anna (his fiancée) are temporarily living in a cottage situated in the beautiful grounds of Cragside.  The Gilberts, owners of Cragside throw a murder mystery evening known as a staff party, to which they are both invited and attend, all dressed up in Victorian refinery.  As can be expected, Ryan is not impressed and feels uncomfortable all dressed up but attends nevertheless.
The evening seems to be a success and Ryan even somehow seems to be enjoying himself, when suddenly the lights go out in the room.  Ryan offers to go and sort this out but a member of the Cragside staff goes instead and the next thing we are aware of if that member of staff lying dead.  On preliminary investigations, it is initially ruled as accidental but as can be expected something niggles away at Ryan to the point that he is convinced it is something more. 

Are Ryan’s suspicions right? 

This book is just as good as all the other books, even though it seems this time more of a comfortable mystery.  We are given insights into how they are all coping following the dramatic ending of the last book, how Ryan and Anna are preparing for their wedding day, how Denise (MacKenzie) and Philips are coping with what happened to them both and how Lowerson is coping and become a valuable member of the team.  This was a nice side line to the story, and one I enjoyed reading in order to be able to see how all parties were coping after High Force, yet still enough of the mystery and thrilling moments to keep me turning the pages with ease.    

I was riveted throughout the book and as per usual the final few pages had me gasping for more and willing the next book to be loaded on to my kindle in readiness.  I can’t wait to see what is next in store, however, I will just have to wait patiently for Louise to release the same. 
L J Ross has that brilliant writing style that draws the reader in and I for one look forward to each new book that is released as I cannot wait to see what is next in stall for Ryan and his team.  L.J. Ross is fast becoming one of my favourite authors whose books seem to get better and better and I always look forward to the next saga.  

My extreme thanks go to Louise Ross for the review copy and allowing me to read and review the same.  

On second thoughts, all that’s left to say is hurry up with the next one! 😊

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Broken Branches - M Jonathan Lee

Broken Branches by [Lee, M. Jonathan]

Broken Branches is a story which had me intrigued from the fantastic cover set in black and moody grey tones of a tree sat on what appears to be a hill, with a red door in the tree.  The book had that mysterious feel to it and one I would instantly pick up for closer inspection in a book shop etc. 

On opening the book, the first few chapters had me wondering what this book was going to be about.  We are given insights into the main character Ian.  Chapters of him now married with a child, along with chapters of a younger Ian, his brother and their parents.  The present day Ian is looking into his family tree and he has become seriously obsessed with this to the point, that with his every waking moment he spends time locked in his study trying to work out the family tree and “the curse” that he has heard so much about, withdrawing from his day job and neglecting his family.  You are given vivid descriptions of how much time and effort he has been putting into finding out as much as he can about this family tree, and these descriptions had me imaging myself sat in the study with him frantically working through each piece searching for that missing link!       

I found myself drawn into this book, however, at time was not entirely sure where the story was going, but was a book that had me intrigued but not riveted.  I was interested in trying to figure this out (as I do with any book I read) and found myself reading more and more of this whenever I got a chance and this was one of the quickest books I have read in the last month.  

I felt that the book jumped around too much with various timelines and as the alternating chapters / timelines progressed was more and more puzzled where the book was going.  I wasn’t sure if it was a ghost story or a psychological thriller.  The author, however, has a great writing style and it was this that had me picking up the book to read more as well as wanting to know how the book was going to pan out.  

The conclusion of the book had me questioning how the author had found writing this book, however after reading an Q&A session on another book blog, found out the reasons behind this and now can fully understand and appreciate why it was written the way it was, and made me understand and appreciate the book more.  

My thanks go to M. Jonathan Lee and also to the publishers Hideaway Falls for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book.  I look forward to seeing what Hideaway Falls have up their sleeves next.