Friday Face-Off – 20th April 2018

Friday Face-Off – 20th April 2018

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring smoke: ‘There’s no smoke without fire.’

This week I picked Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown.

Cover A:

Smoke1

Cover B:

Smoke2

Cover C:

Smoke3

Cover D:

Smoke4

Cover E:

Smoke5

Cover F:

Smoke6

And the winner is… COVER F!

Another close one this week, but the desolate forest and smokiness hanging in the air creates an imposing atmosphere. Cover D was a close second for the simplicity it exudes.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next weeks’ theme is a book cover with a medieval style: ‘Those darling bygone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture.’

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The Truth Will Out by Brian Cleary

The Truth Will Out by Brian Cleary

The novel is set in Ireland. The friendship of Jamie, Shane and Mary Kate is tested to the limit after Mary Kate is brutally raped and lies in a coma. The evidence against Jamie is overwhelming and is compounded by the fact he maintains he cannot recall what happened that night. However, the one secret that Jamie has never disclosed can prove his innocence.

Corrupt guards, a narcissistic film director and his mercenary private detective, an ex-girlfriend, a serial killer and an inept solicitor all weave a complicated compelling plot with twists and turns right to the end. A gripping read.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

Having recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Olivia Kiernan’s Irish crime-thriller Too Close To Breathe, I was really looking forward to another Irish book in the same genre. The Truth Will Out follows Jamie Ryan; a troubled boy with a short fuse and a violent, ferocious temper. Something that would normally not trigger more than a flash-in-the-pain argument would trigger Jamie to react with his fists. He struggled to control it throughout the years, attacking friends, school rugby opponents, anyone who angered him.
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As he grew his discovery of religion seemed to help him settle, calm himself and regain control when the rage swept through him. That is, until one fateful night celebrating a 21st birthday. The significant amount of alcohol imbued clouded his judgement, causing him to explode over a minor situation and storm out. Having passed out drunk, Jamie is awoken by police in the apartment of best friend Mary Kate who has been assaulted in the most violent, and ultimately fatal way. Maybe Jamie isn’t so in control of his anger.

Things may not be exactly as they seem in this case, and slowly the intricacies come to late. A major plot twist only serves to confuse this story unfortunately. It becomes unclear who we are following, and even when that comes out it is not immediately clear why. I think the intention was to make a mystery with some plot twists to keep the reader guessing, however it feels a confused jumble.

The Truth Will Out offered up a lot of potential for a thrilling crime mystery, and my hopes were high following my previous crime mystery novel set in Ireland. Sadly, the jumble of story lines made for a somewhat confusing read that really broke my immersion in the story. By no means the worst thing I have read, it was difficult to love this book.

My rating:
okaybook

Friday Face-Off – 13th April 2018

Friday Face-Off – 13th April 2018

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a panorama: ‘Lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it.’

This week I picked Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein.

Cover A:

panorama1

Cover B:

panorama2

Cover C:

panorama3

Cover D:

panorama4

Cover E:

panorama5

Cover F:

panorama6

Cover G:

panorama7
Cover H:

panorama9

Cover I:

panorama10

 

And the winner is… A TIE!

I’ve had a few ties in the time I have been doing the Friday Face-Off, but this may well be the first time I have a three way tie. Covers D, E and H win this week. They have a vibe of classic sci-fi artwork which really catches my eye. They are visually impressive and the representation of the landscape is creative.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next weeks’ theme is a book cover featuring smoke: ‘There’s no smoke without fire.’

Friday Face-Off – 6th April 2018

Friday Face-Off – 6th April 2018

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a family: ‘After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.’

This week I picked The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss.

Cover A:

family1

Cover B:

family2

Cover C:

family3

Cover D:

family4
Cover E:

family5

Cover F:

family6

Cover G:

family7

 

And the winner is… COVER G!

The silhouettes on this one win it for me. Simple design but tells you plenty about the book within the covers! Cover E gets a special mention ad my second favourite for similar reasons.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next weeks’ theme is a book cover featuring a panorama: ‘Lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it.’

Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

TOO SOON TO SEE
Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.
TOO LATE TO HIDE
DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.
TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE
As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.
Olivia Kiernan’s debut is a bold, brilliant thriller that will keep you guessing and leave you breathless.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a must read for me from the moment I read the description. I immediately responded to the email asking for bloggers to take part in a blog tour for Olivia Kiernan’s debut novel and the first in a series featuring tough-as-nails Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan. When I came home from work to find a black bubble pack waiting for me, I couldn’t wait to open it. And my excitement was well-justified; the publishers having put together a fantastic promo pack. Alongside the book was a printed copy of the coroner report for victim Eleanor Costello, along with a pocket notebook and pencil to keep notes and a bag of (very nice, might I add) coffee to keep me going throughout the case. Colour me impressed, I am such a sucker for a good PR gimmick!

TCTB
More importantly though, on to the book – Too Close To Breathe. Having read my fair share of murder mysteries this year, to date Kiernan has taken the top spot. Set in the dark and dreary Autumn and Winter of the Emerald Isle, tortured DCS Sheehan finds herself staring down the barrel of what appears to be a straightforward suicide investigation. Following an assault while chasing a murder, this looks like a simple case to ease her way back into detective work. But nothing is as it seems as the body count begins to rise, as does the list of suspects with one motive or another.
With her own tortured past to come to terms with Sheehan and her team need to ensnare the killer before they strike again. But how do you stop a monster that loves to play dead? This case forces Sheehan to delve into her tortured past, the mind of a calculated and devious killer and the darkest corners of the Dark Web just to stay on an ever-cooling trail.
I have read a lot of murder mysteries of late, all entertaining books, but most at some point reach a stage where the identity of the murderer becomes clear before the reveal. Kiernan has managed to keep the murderer a mystery all the way up until the point Sheehan works it out. A host of possible, and entirely plausible suspects all with reasonable motives make this one of the best murder mysteries I have read. Too Close To Breathe offers a damaged protagonist, a twisted killer and an horrific insight into the dark web. I look forward to seeing future cases involving DCS Frankie Sheehan.

My rating:
I feel the need to preface my rating for this book. Maybe I need to create a new icon. This book rates so highly with me, that it is one of my books of 2018 at this early stage of the year! Once I come up with a badge, I will update it here and maybe start a new annual review feature for my top books of the year!
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 30th March 2018

Friday Face-Off – 30th March 2018

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring seeds or spores: ‘A little soil to make it grow.’

This week I picked The Fungus/Death Spore by Harry Adam Knight.

Cover A:

spore1

Cover B:

spore2

Cover C:

spore3

Cover D:

spore4
Cover E:

spore5

Cover F:

spore6

 

And the winner is… COVER B!

It looks dark and frankly a bit disturbing. I love the almost-graphic nature of it.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next weeks’ theme is a book featuring family: ‘After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.’

Friday Face-Off – 23rd March 2018

Friday Face-Off – 23rd March 2018

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a tower: ‘she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.’

This week I picked The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon.

Cover A:

tower1

Cover B:

tower2

Cover C:

tower3

Cover D:

tower4
Cover E:

tower5

Cover F:

tower6

Cover G:

tower7

 

 

And the winner is… COVER F!

I really like the angular style of the artwork on this one. It also gave me a feeling of adventure and danger within the story.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next weeks’ theme is a book featuring seeds or spores: ‘A little soil to make it grow.’