Tag Archives: Novella’s

A Woman Scorned by Jack Jordan #MiniReview @JackJordanBooks @CorvusBooks

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Book description 

Are you afraid? 

You should be. 

The husband: in over his head with no way of knowing the truth.

The mistress: blinded by love, betrayed by her family…

The neighbour: will stop at nothing to protect the life he has fought to create.

The wife: a woman bent on revenge, but how far is she willing to go…?

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A Woman Scorned by Jack Jordan is a short story but don’t think for one minute that this means it lacks plot detail or character development. This is a hell of a short story that packs a very devious punch. If you haven’t read a book by this author yet here is a good place to start, as you get a feel for the authors writing. One thing I love about Jack Jordan’s writing is his ability to come up with a plot that’s refreshingly original in content and brilliantly plotted.  

Told from four POV the wife, mistress, husband and neighbour each as a part to play in a story of lies, betrayal and secrets. Many psychological thrillers use these well used themed but the author has made them his own, by creating a throughly gripping story. As this is a short story I was surprised by how well the characters were developed, take Amber the wife for instance she’s cold, manipulative, but so intriguing, someone you definitely wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of! When I read a short story I sometimes find it difficult to drum up any enthusiasm for the characters, but that wasn’t  the case with A Woman Scorned, In fact I would like to see a full length book featuring Amber.

Jack Jordan wastes no time in getting to the heart of the story and using the four POV was a genius ploy, as the reader you not only get a sense of each character but the shift in characters POV also heighten the tension as the story unfolds. As psychological thrillers go I was really impressed with how much the author packed into 123 pages, there’s suspense, bucketfuls of tension with a compelling and twisted tale that made me gasp out loud a couple of times. Reading this short story had made me really excited for the authors new full length novel Before Her Eyes which is published in August 2018. 

Pre-order:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 123 pages

Publisher: Corvus (3 May 2018)

 

My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel #MiniReview @HALeuschel

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Book description

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives
A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.
But is Alexa all she claims to be?
As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?
In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

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I’m not a huge fan of novella’s if I’m honest and I’m going to state the obvious here and admit I find them too short! I like a book I can sink my teeth into, I like to immerse myself in the plot and it’s characters, but with a novella it’s difficult to fit such detail in to such a short read. Although every now and again I will pick one as I do feel they showcase an author’s writing so you can get a feel for their work. I read Manipulated Lies earlier this year, which I really enjoyed, so when H.A. Leauschel asked me if I would like to read My Sweet Friend a novella  I was more than happy to give it ago.

A “true” friendship is built on trust and loyalty or I would hope so! My Sweet Friend is very much a character study of Alexa who starts out being the “perfect friend” to Rosie, but it’s not long before the lies begin and the truth is distorted in fact it soon become apparent that Alexa is a pathological liar. It was interesting to see how Rosie’s personality changed once she became friends with Alexa, it’s obvious their relationship is having a negative impact on her, and you can’t help hoping Rosie will see through Alexa and end their toxic relationship.

It’s obvious from H.A. Leauschel writing she is well versed in the workings of the humans mind, Alexa makes for a very credible character, after all I’m sure we have all come across someone who lies, distorts the truth or deceives us without feeling any remorse. Although a Novella I felt this short story packed a lot in and it certainly made for an intriguing read. If I had one small criticism I think I would have liked this story to have been a full length book, as I would like to have read more about the changes and shift in power between the two friends, never the less I would recommend My Sweet Friend if you are looking for a quick and intriguing read.

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Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Good Girl Gone by KT Finch #MiniReview

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Book description

One morning, everything changes…
A gripping novella with an awesome twist.
Tom Cheever is an IT specialist, a recovering alcoholic, and a single dad. Molly, his ten-year-old daughter is his whole life. But one ordinary morning, Tom discovers that Molly’s not in her room.
Gone. Vanished.

Police are called, a search party goes out, and Tom, already struggling with staying sober, finds himself coming undone. As hours become days without any sign of Molly, everyone she knows is called into question, including Tom himself.

As he tries to desperately piece together what could’ve happened, Tom realises that nothing is quite as it seems. Will Molly be found in time? Or will Tom have to face the rest of his life not knowing what happened to little girl?

img_1258I picked up Good Girl Gone by K T Finch as my interest was piqued by the book description, if I had looked a little more closely I would have realised it was a novella. Now I’m not normally a fan of short stories, I’m going to state the obvious here and admit I find them well short! I like to get a feel for the characters, which you often don’t get with a short story and they often feel rushed or the conclusion falls short, but never the less I decided to persevere.

Good Girl Gone starts off really well Ten year old Molly goes missing during the night and her recovering alcoholic father comes immediately under suspicion. The first half of this novella started off really well and I had high hopes for it, but unfortunately the second half let it down, it felt rushed and I pretty much guessed the ending so there were no big surprises or twists.

The author manages to pack a lot in, and there is some character development but not enough for me to invest in the characters. Although I was slightly disappointed with this short story, if it had been longer and the author had built on the suspense it could have been a really good read. I do like KT Finch style of writing and I would certainly be tempted to pick up full length novel by this author.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸
 

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Good morning well it’s Sunday and thank goodness it’s a bank holiday weekend I’m hoping to catch up with some reading as the weathers meant to be rubbish. I have managed to read two books and a novelle this week, so much better than last week when I only managed to read one book.

Books I read this week

 

The next books on my TBR pile

Despite saying I was cutting back on blog tours I’ve some how managed to sign up for 11 tours during May and early June so I’m going to concentrate on getting them all read, I’m hoping I can then move on to my neglected TBR book shelf reads….watch this space 🙈

ARC’s I received this week

I only requested one book on the dreaded NetGalley this week, as I have so many books I want to read that are sat on my TBR pile.🙈

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Book description
It’s happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.

A murderous plan conceived in the past.

A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer.

Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge. Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War.

Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted.

As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

I also received this two fabulous books from Orenda books, I’ve already read Block 46 which is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017 and I’m hearing some amazing things about Exquisite so I’m really looking forward to reading this one for the blog tour. I have to say Orenda publish so many amazing books they are highly original and so well written they are a joy to read.

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I also received this beauty The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins from the awesome and very generous Linda Hill who blogs over at http://www.lindasbookbag.com this is another book I’m really looking forward to reading after reading Linda’s fabulous review, so thank you Linda 😘😘

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Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/23/weekly-wrap-up-24/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/24/bloq-by-alan-jones-bookmarks-photos-alanjonesbooks-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/26/love-me-not-by-m-j-arlidge-bookreview-mjarlidge/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/27/blog-tour-after-the-affair-by-jonathan-kaye-guestpost-jonathankaye000/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/28/the-quiet-man-by-james-carol-bookreview-jamescarolbooks-faberbooks/

Next week on the book review café

My book of the month

Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis #Review

The One Man by Andrew Gross #Review

#TopFiveThursday is back with another awesome blogger

**Blog tour** Block 46 by Johana Gustawasson #Review

Other news from the book review café

As a book blogger I’m honoured to read some fabulous books and humbled by the thought publishers put their trust in me to write an honest review. I was speechless (not a mean feat as Mr book review café will tell you!) when I opened my copy of Block 46 to see part of my review had been quoted,  especially as I loved this book, and it’s definitely one of my top reads of 2017, I think I may have already mentioned this once or twice 😂😂🙈

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Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06

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Book description

Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?

img_1258BULLY BOY BLUE is a dark psychological suspense novella by John Nicholl, and when I say dark it’s really, really dark! It may only be a short story but the author certainly packs a powerful and disturbing tale into these pages. It’s dark, intense and hard hitting, in fact some readers may prefer to give Bully Boy Blue a miss as it deals with domestic abuse, and the author doesn’t hold back on the details.

The plot centres around Kathy whose life is dominated by her abusive husband Michael a pillar of society, unfortunately for Kathy whose going to believe her story? Can she escape the evil clutches of a monster? I’m certainly not going to give anything away here. Oh my Michael really is a nasty piece of work, as you learn more about his abusive behaviour towards Kathy I found my stomach turning, and all my sympathies lay with her. All I could hope for in this sorry tale was Michael would get what he deserved.

John Nicholl never fails to amaze me as his villains are always so well portrayed, so much so you can’t help but detest them for the terrible things they do and Michael is no exception. The author takes the worse parts of human behaviour and creates characters that you wouldn’t wish to meet in your worse nightmares. Bully Boy Blue makes for a grim, brutal and very disconcerting read, but it’s well plotted with a very satisfying conclusion.

Print Length: 60 pages

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

The Fallen By Michael Wood #Review #ShortStory @MichaelHWood

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Book description

A short story and prequel featuring DCI Matilda Darke, star of Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

It’s Christmas in Sheffield. But not everyone is enjoying the festive season…

A man has been found brutally murdered in his own home. The victim is Iain Kilbride, a once-famous TV star who has faded into obscurity. All signs point to a break-in, but why has nothing been taken?

For DCI Matilda Darke, this is the perfect chance to prove her newly formed Murder Investigation Team are up to the task. Matilda suspects the clue to finding the killer lies in Iain’s past, but she’s about to discover how dark that past really is…

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Having read For Reasons Unknown and Outside Looking In which I loved I was delighted to hear that Michael Wood was releasing The Fallen, but once I realised it was only 85 pages long I felt slightly disappointed. I’m not a huge fan of short stories I’m afraid, they often feel rushed or lack the depth of characters and plot. Fortunately this wasn’t the case, for such a short book it packed hell of a punch, which made for a quick but never the less a gripping read.

In The Fallen we are introduced to the newly promoted DCI Maltilda Darke, It was fascinating to read about Maltilda’s earlier years and her relationship with her husband James, I found this glimpse into her past intriguing as it added another dimension to her character. Maltilda is brought in to investigate the murder of a famous TV star and what follows is an original tale laced with sadness and regrets.

For such a short story I was surprised at just how well it was written, there’s enough intrigue and suspense to make this a read in one sitting kind of book. Michael Wood’s writing goes from strength to strength, his books appear to be getting darker and more twisted and I absolutely love this element. The Fallen doesn’t lack plot or character development in fact it reads, like a full length novel as the author doesn’t waste anytime in getting to the heart of the plot.

If you haven’t read any books by Michael Wood this short story is well worth a read as you get a feel for Maltilda’s character as well as some of the other characters that pop up in both books. If you are already a fan of the author then I’m sure you will love it too. After reading The Fallen I can’t wait to read A Room Full Of Killers a full length Matilda Darke book which is published in February 2017.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐out of 5

Print Length: 85 pages

Publisher: Killer Reads (23 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Open Your Eyes by James Carol #Review

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Book description

Jefferson Winter returns in a gripping ebook story from bestselling author James Carol.

Jefferson Winter is at the beginning of his FBI career. He’s young and unpredictable, but he has a gift – he can understand the mind of a murderer like no one else.

Winter is in Las Vegas with Yoko Tanaka, a tough agent with the unenviable task of showing him the ropes. The bodies of three young women have been found and each of them is missing a limb.

Winter is in Las Vegas with Yoko Tanaka, a tough agent with the unenviable task of showing him the ropes. The bodies of three young women have been found and each of them is missing a limb.

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I’m a huge fan of James Carol and the Jefferson Winter’s series so when I saw Open Your Eyes was available as an ARC I just had to grab myself a copy, even though it was a novella which if I’m honest I’m not a big fan of, as they often feel rushed or lack the depth both in the characters and the plot. Fortunately this wasn’t the case in fact for such a short book it packed a punch, which made for a taut read.

It was interesting to see how Jefferson Winter has evolved from an eager and unpredictable young FBI agent to the polished and guarded Detective we meet in the series. In Open Your Eyes Winter’s hasn’t yet grown into his personality he’s glib, abrasive and he’s definitely not a team player or predictable. Fellow agent and mentor Yoko has her work cut out trying to keep Winter’s in line throughout the investigation. I found their relationship a very interesting one as sometimes it felt like Jefferson was the teacher, where as Yoko helps him to hone his less endearing personality traits, dialogue between the pair is often full of humour which makes their relationship appear more authentic.

The plot is delivered in true James Carol style, three women murdered each of them missing a limb, it’s up to Yoko and Winter’s to find the killer before he strikes again. Considering this is a sort story it felt longer than 120 pages as it didn’t feel rushed, the reader learns enough about a younger Winter, and his relationship with Yoko to add a new dimension to his character I felt like I knew him a lot better after reading this novella. Open Your Eyes is a MUST read for fans of the Jefferson Winter series it’s fairly tense and moves along at a fair pace, but what I enjoyed the most was learning more about one of my favourite detectives in the crime genre. I shall certainly be looking forward to reading The Quiet Man a full length novel, unfortunately for lovers of Jefferson Winter me included it isn’t  published until May 2017.

5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5

Print Length: 120 pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber (6 Oct. 2016)

Amazon UK