Review: Twisted Knot by J.M. Peace & Author Interview

NOTE: Apparently this was not automatically uploaded on monday the 25th as I had arranged and I can only put it down to me having installed the new IOS 10 beta and may have kinked up the posting. So apologied to Ms Peace and PanMacmillian. Without further ado…

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Title: The Twisted Know

Author: JM Peace

Publisher: Macmillan

Available from: Macmillan & Booktopia to name a few places

Blurb:  A marked man. A damaged cop. A town full of secrets.

After her abduction and near death at the hands of a sadistic killer, Constable Samantha Willis is back in the uniform. Despite being on desk duty, rumours reach Sammi that Someone in Angel’s Crossing has been hurting little girls, and before long a mob is gathering to make sure justice is served.

So when a man is found hanging in his shed, the locals assume the pedophile has finally given in to his guilt. That is, until Sammi delves further into the death and uncovers a dark family secret, an unsolved crime and a town desperate for vengeance.

*****

If you haven’t read the first book from JM Peace ‘A Time To Run’, never fear. Both books do just fine as stand alone’s despite having the same main characters.  The Twisted Knot is based on a highly contraversial topic, child sexual abuse.  Sammi, the female lead, is a small town cop who has recently returned back to the job after having a year off after being kidnapped by a serial killer in the first book.  She’s nervous but anxious to ‘get back to normal’, if there ever is such a thing.  The book itself, was very well written for most of the time, although for me, the first two – three chapters felt bogged down by more action and 2D conversation, than ‘action’.  However, once that inital stage of the book was over I was quite drawn into Sammi’s world.

It was always going to be a difficult topic for me to read, as the author is a police officer and I am a studying psychology student, and we have very different ways of thinking.  So there was a lot in there that I didn’t agree with, especially the ending in which a character mentions that things aren’t so black and white but instead grey, which is very very true, and yet in regards to “Pete the Pedo” it read very black and white, and it simply is not. So I struggled with that side of the story.

I also struggled with Sammi’s boyfriend, Gavin.  He really got under my skin and came across as quite childish at times. Whether or not the author planned for that, I’m not sure. But I found I disliked him a lot more, than anyone else.  The chapter I absolutely loved, was Sammi’s first visit to see ‘Pete the Pedo’s’ mother. It was so well written I actually had to go through and read it again!

While it was a contraverisal topic, and I didn’t agree with some of it, the author did do a good job of capturing people’s attiudes on offenders who sexually abuse children.  Much of the narrative that came from the characters, was identical to that which you see on social media, and other platforms. Whether or not you agree or have an opinion, factual or emotional, my overall take on this piece was of a high standard and I very much look forward to reading the next book by this author! I suggest you go pick up here two books, like I have and catch up before the next one’s released.

I gave this book: img_0166img_0166img_0166img_0166/5

Happy reading!

Nat

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Review: The Last Time She Saw Him by Jane Haseldine

GoodReads BlurbJulia Gooden remembers nothing about the worst night of her life. Thirty years ago, her nine-year-old brother Ben—the person who promised he would always protect her—was abducted from the room they shared. Try as she might to recall any clue or detail, there is a black hole where Julia’s memories of that terrible event should be.

Now a crime reporter at a Detroit newspaper, Julia tries to give others the closure she’s never found. But guilt and grief over Ben’s disappearance have left her fearful that whoever took her brother is going to come back. Nowhere seems safe—not the city, not the suburbs, not even the secluded lake town where she plans to raise her children. And then, on the anniversary of Ben’s disappearance, Julia’s worst fears are realized when her two-year-old son, Will, is snatched from his bed.

Convinced that the crimes are related, Julia tries to piece together memories from her final day with Ben. Are the sudden reminders of her brother clues that will lead her to her son’s abductor, or merely coincidence? Julia knows she has hours at best to find Will alive, but the deeper she digs, the more personal and terrifying the battle becomes, and an undying promise may be her only hope of saving herself and her son.

WARNING: I WON’T GO INTO TOO MUCH DETAIL SO THAT I DON’T SPOIL ANYTHING FOR FUTURE READERS. SO IF YOU COME ACROSS A SENTENCE THAT IS BEING PURPOSELY EVASIVE, THAT’S WHY, LOL.

I have to say that I was impressed by this story.  While it can’t claim fame to being the book that grabbed me from the beginning, once it did I was enthralled.  The subject is and always will be one that strikes a chord in readers who are parents. Is there anything worse than the though of your child just vanishing? The POV was really quite wonderfully executed. I’d go so far as to say that I’ve enjoyed the writing style of this story the best so far this year.

But, there were a few things that irked me.  I didn’t care for Julia’s husband, I found his character draining on the nerves.  I wasn’t a fan of the plot twist, in truth I found it disappointing because yes, it was a little less of what I was expecting, but I felt as though it didn’t fit with the overall story. The author did weave in some build up to it, it wasn’t completely unexpected, and even when that was happening I was thinking to myself I’d rather the author hadn’t gone down that route and included that (I found the prison scene and the person Julia visits, far to dramatic and exaggerated for my liking) but I’m sure there will be others who enjoy that.

The last few chapters were wonderfully thrilling. I don’t remember reading one as pleasurable, in the last few thrillers that I’ve read. The characters action and speaking flowed as well, it was really seamless which allowed me to lose myself in the happenings, I may have even gasped and teared up with the scene with the old gas station attendant visits the house at the end!  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, and will keep my eye out from future work from this author!

I rate this book; img_0166-2img_0166-2img_0166-2img_0166-2/5

You can purchase this Kensington Press story via Amazon here

You can also visit the author via Facebook here

 

Till next time, happy reading and buying.

Nat

 

 

 

Review: Butcher, Baker – By Walter Gilmore & Leland E Hale

Blurb (via Goodreads)- The true account of Alaska’s serial killer, Robert Hansen, the asker who hunted the streets of Anchorage and Seward in the 70’s and 80’s, butchering up to 20 young women. This book details the extraordinary work and dedication of a handful of Alaska State Troopers who brought him to justice.


True crime is my absolute favourite genre to read and this book was one of the excellent reads.  The writers took a different past to some of the other true crime books out there, in that this book started in the thick of things. There wasn’t the usual boring introduction to the offender and his past. Instead, it started with the discovery of the one of the victims and then gradually we were introduced to Hansen and given his background in bite-sized chunks. You didn’t feel overwhelmed or bored which is, in my opinion, excellent writing.  For those who detest courtroom writing because of the ‘boredom’ of it (I actually enjoy the courtroom part of true crime novels) there is actually very little in this, and the little that is in it is actually pivotal to understanding this horrifying case.

Did I have any issues with the book? Yes. Not really from the authors though, more from the individuals who were part of this case.  Given the era this case took place, not really a surprise that those involved apparently can’t differentiate the difference between mass murder and serial murder.  They’re both very different from each other, however like I mentioned it was a common mistake made during the late 70’s and early 80’s (although people still get it wrong today!).  I also felt the last two chapters were a tad rushed and maybe could have been given a little more TLC. 

Alaskan Serial Killer Robert C. Hansen

Opinions on the case itself? Serial murder is always a topic that fascinates people. Myself, I’m pretty much over it. However, there’s no denying that it was a horrific case and the dedication and effort that the officers/investigators and the many others that worked to arrest and detain Hansen, is nothing short of admirable and amazing.  It never gets any less sadder that these poor victims, prostitutes and exotic dancers, are often targets of crime. My heart breaks whenever I read about their deaths at the hands of another human.  There was a line in the book that stuck with me, which I’ll paraphrase excuse I can’t remember it exactly, but the gist of it was that one of the victims was warned that it’s a hard line of work being a protestitute and that she should basically expect ‘bad’ things to happen. It angered me that someone would think like that. Irrelevant of what a person does, they should never have to fear for their lives and be disrespected and treated anything less than human. But it happens, and there’s no other word for it than unfair. Really unfair. 

So, if you’re a true crime lover, and love your serial killers then this one is a must for you. I can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, but that’s the beauty of individualality!! You can purchase the hard copy via Amazon below:

Purchase Butcher, Baker here

I rated this book: 
   X 5 / 5 
Happy reading and buying

Nat

Currently Reading and What’s Up Next!

I’m in the middle of my mid-semester break, both enjoying it and looking forward to getting back to studying!! I’m a little sick like that, I enjoy the first week and then I’m climbing the walls missing it from the second week onwards, LOL.

I am enjoying some great books at the moment. Last week, I finished The Twisted Knot by JM Peace, which I’ll be posting a review and intervewing the author on the 25th. I’m currently reading a true crime book ‘Butcher, Baker’ by Walter Gilmore which I’m almost finished and fiction novel ‘The Last Time She Saw Him’ by Jane Haseldine.

I’ve been trying to decide what to read next, and given the state of my library, both hard copy and ebook libraries, it’s been a hard task to perform PMSL. So I just did a random pick and got these two beauties. One from my hardcopy library, the other from my kindle. I look forward to posting reviews shortly about the ones above, and starting the newbies below!

What are some that you have next on your TBR pile?

Happy reading and buying

Nat