No Safe Place

No Safe Place (Detective Lottie Parker, #4)No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another good instalment in this series. Pacing was fantastic, there were not too many characters to keep track of – but enough that I was kept guessing.

Lottie can get a little frustrating, but this is what makes her such a great character – she is doing her best with what she has, and I know I always feel the struggle of working and looking after children on my own – and the small bits and pieces that get forgotten every day. She is good at her job, she has the grudging respect of her peers, and she has a working relationship with her children.

I was glad that the family history part of the series wasn’t at the fore in this instalment, I enjoyed having just the case to get into – I had actually forgotten what had happened at the end of the previous book, also why it was important, so it was good I didn’t have to re-read parts of the last book in order to just enjoy this one.

As always, I will look forward to the next one!

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The Ruin

The Ruin (Cormac Reilly, #1)The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really like Irish crime novels – and this one was great! Cormac was a great character, lots of depth in his portrayal, which I really enjoyed.
I found Aisling fairly annoying, and I didn’t really buy into her whole character.
Maude was fantastic, and I liked her character development.
Despite having a male detective at the heart of this story, it was really the female characters that came through with every other part of the puzzle. The female characters were all strong, independent women with sound careers and sound reasoning – the novel didn’t draw attention to this, and it wasn’t a theme, but I noticed and enjoyed this a lot.
The mystery itself was solid, and the pacing was good – we got the right amount of information at just the right moment. I liked Murphy, and the hidden motives for him are drawing me to the next instalment already.
Good read if you enjoy crime, and especially if you enjoy Irish crime.

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The Book of Dust – ‘The Belle Sauvage’

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1)La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing read – wonderful way of writing that gets across complex ideas in simple language. The characters were a joy to get to know – especially Malcolm, loved the way he was presented and developed throughout the story.

It has been a sufficiently long enough time since I read His Dark Materials, that I really can’t remember what happened – it was fantastic that this book made complete sense on it’s own. The hint of familiarity (especially of Pan) was just enough to provide comfort – like I was going back to a place I had visited and loved once.

I got a little worried about three quarters of the way through, because it got a little bit Faraway-Tree-ish, but that section came to an end just as I was getting a bit annoyed with it. And, it did play a role in the story which made it alright.

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The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge

The Secrets at Ocean's EdgeThe Secrets at Ocean’s Edge by Kali Napier
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was half ‘The Light Between Oceans’, and half ‘Cloudstreet’ – sounds like a great mix, right? Wrong. All this book succeeded in doing for me, was making me want to re-read those two books because they were so much better than this offering.

I am a fan of suspenseful and mysterious reads, and like the slow unravelling of secrets throughout a story, and at first this seemed like the perfect book to meet that requirement. The problem was my lack of interest in any character other than Ernie who didn’t get much air-time, my dislike of Lily who was a horrible person to everyone, and this ‘secret’ that was totally unremarkable and not worth reading until the end for.

Pacing was a huge issue for me, because at some point we need to know what exactly our secret means, otherwise why do we care about finding it out? This information came at too stunted a pace, and left me with a sense of complete disappointment when it wasn’t even that good.

With the mystery unravelling so slowly, it drew more attention to the fact the there was no other story – or to be more accurate, there was an interesting story in the town’s everyday workings, the author just didn’t tell it well. She focused instead on trying to be clever with her mystery, and it actually took away from the part that could have been good.

I wasn’t impressed, and would recommend people to either read ‘Light Between Oceans’, or ‘Cloudstreet’ instead.

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