Month: April 2014

Psychological Thrillers or Are They!

Recently I have read quite a few novels which have been termed as psychological thrillers and I wondered which is your favourite and which have fallen a bit flat.  I am also getting a bit fed up with every new novel being phrased as “the new Gone Girl”.

So here goes with  three I have read recently.


Mother Mother by Koren Zailckas

ImageThis novel is about a dysfunctional family.  There is Violet a 16 year old girl who is being accused of being a danger to her family and her brother William who is an intelligent 12 year old with epilepsy and autism.  Then there is the elder sister Rose who has escaped or has she!  Meet the parents especially the mother, Josephine.  Is she the woman who wants what is best for her family or is there something more sinister than that!

I did enjoy Mother Mother, thanks to Love Reading, who asked me to review it but I did not find it particularly suspenseful and I guessed what was happening when more than half way through.  The author also didn´t seem to know when to press the end button.  After a particularly good scene towards the end it then waffled on for several more pages.  But saying that I would still recommend it.

The Book of You by Claire Kendal


Clarissa is being stalked by a colleague, Rafe, who is always there and when “presents” start to arrive she becomes more and more frightened.  She is then chosen for jury service and feels that the court room is a safe haven for six weeks where Rafe cannot get to her. However, she then starts to find parallels with the young woman who is the defendant in the case being heard.

This was written in the third and first person going back and forth to entries written in her diary.  I found it quite disconcerting and started to speed read.  I also found Clarissa to be a very irritating person and kept saying to myself for goodness sake go to the Police.  I also didn´t like the stereo typing of one of the jury members, Robert, who guess what, is a fireman.  All in all I found this as thrilling as being slapped about the face with a wet fish.

However, thank you Love Reading for giving me a chance to review this novel.

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

ImageNow this is what I call a psychological thriller.  Within a few minutes I could not put it down and was drawn in to the world of OCD and domestic violence.  I won´t put too much of the plot on here because if you haven´t read it, I just want to say to you drop everything you are doing and go out and buy it now.  It´s only 2.99 on Amazon and it is the best three quid that you will spend.

So what are you favourite psychological thrillers?  And what did they call them before Gone Girl!







Have You Gone Over to the Dark Side?

The debate has waged now for a long time e-books v “real books”.  So now I am going to throw my twopenny worth (does anyone except me still use that phrase!) in to the arena.

As I have said before I am an avid reader and have been since I got my first library card for Torquay Junior Library.  How I treasured it and how much pleasure it gave me over the years.  Saturday mornings for some in those heady days of the 50´s/early 60´s would have been Saturday morning cinema.  Who remembers that?  But not for me, Saturday mornings was a trip on the No. 30 bus to the library there to get my three books then the joy and anticipation of carrying them home and to spend Saturday afternoon on the sitting room floor (not lounge in those days) reading to my heart´s content.  But how life has changed how many people still use their library when we all have computers and can click and download within minutes.  So what is my opinion of e-books v real books.  Here goes.

I still love perusing the written word in hardback or paperback in Waterstones or W.H. Smiths to see the covers particularly and to turn them over to read the blurb, lovely but they are so inconvenient.  Sorry, I am sure I will be shot down in flames for this but after spending several days reading a big hardback which I will discuss in a later blog it really was a pain.  Just so cumbersome and awkward whereas I can pick up my Kindle, other e-book readers are, of course, available and I can eat my lunch with one hand and drink my tea with the other, stir the dinner, make the print larger or smaller.  I don´t even have to put a lamp on in the dwindling evening light unless I want to as it is back lit.  I can read in bed without disturbing the other half.  Plus we haven´t even mentioned the pluses of travelling with one small item in your handbag instead of at least six hardbacks in your suitcase because yes that is what I did before going on holiday.  I used to go through the best selling lists at the library and reserve as many as I could and take them away with me. 

On the other hand there is always a thrill of seeing that new book sitting in anticipation looking at you with the smell of new pages daring you to “come on in and stay a while”.

There is one downside of e-books and an e-reader and that is, for me, that it is a bit like being in a sushi bar there are all these tempting dishes running past your nose and it is so easy to try this and that one because hey it is only a matter of pressing a button and if after a few chapters you aren´t immersed well there is another right behind it.

A friend of mine swore blind she would never ever go over to the dark side but the devil was out there and he tempted her so hard that she succumbed and now all her beloved books which she has had for years are nothing but dust. 

So what do you think?



British Royal Family IMG_20140412_174830

I was looking at an old photo of me earlier today which started me thinking if I could change any part of me what would it be.

On the whole not very much but the one thing I would change, apart from my singing voice, which is another topic, is my chin.  I have always had a “weak” chin and loathe my profile because of it.  When young, I would like to think just a few years ago, but obviously much, much longer, I kept being told I looked like Gail from Corrie (shows how long she has been in the show) which I did not consider to be a compliment but also Princess Anne.  Now reader you might not believe it but as a very young woman she was quite attractive but again had this receding chin.  The photo above was taken on her 19th birthday and the one of me on the right at about the same time.  So on my next visit to this earth I am hoping for a firm attractive chin and a great singing voice.

Now to my “like” it must be my feet and hands, I am blessed with genes from my father on this score and have long fingers and toes.  It was often remarked on that I should be good at playing the piano……why?  Since I am tone deaf this would never have worked.

I also have a love/hate relationship with my boobs.  Oh how over the years I have yearned for little compact boobs where you can wear a multitude of clothes and bikinis and look stylish instead of trying to force them in to spaces they just weren´t meant to go and keep trying to escape!  Now that does sound a bit odd but you know what I mean.  Then there is running………..a very painful experience even though I have running sandals which I tell my girlfriends is for that one occasion when there is an emergency and I have to make a run for it.  You know when you are late for your train/plane etc.  Flipflops just won´t do it. So would I put my boobs in Room 101, nah I have had them for so many years now and have become quite fond of them so will let them stay. So is there anything about yourself that you particularly like or loathe that you would care to share.

Before I go I am just going to have a moan about passwords.  Now I expect you have all heard about the latest internet threat called Heartbleed and we are all being told to change our passwords and to have different passwords for every single thing we have on our computer/tablet/smartphone.  Now I don´t know about you but I do get fed up of the Password Gestapo telling me I can´t have this word or that word and it has to be a trillion zillion letters long and a capital here and a number there.  How the hell am I supposed to remember any of this, plus the fact that new software can detect your password practically instantly, so anybody got any tips on how to remember a hundred different passwords?

Thanks again gentle reader for taking the time to read this load of nonsense from yours truly.




So Many Books in My Life

I have been gently prodded and pushed in to starting a blog on my love of books mainly by my daughter, Marissa Farrar, a writer herself, that I feel I must give it a go but as my favourite author, Stephen King,  would say, “Be kind to me gentle reader” as I take my first steps forward.

I have been reading since I was a little girl, which is a thousand years ago, first on my Nana´s knee with her reading to me and then me reading to her.  The image in my memories is so vivid that I feel that was the start of a love affair with the written story that will be with me I hope for many years to come.

But now for a few of my favourite novels that have resonated in my life.

As I have previously said my favourite author is Stephen King.  I have read every novel except Cujo and Pet Cemetary.  The reasons for this is that I could not stand the thought of an animal being hurt.  Stupid perhaps but that is the way I am.  Have I missed out King fans or not?  The best in my opinion are The Shining and The Stand both of which I have read and re-read several times.  I do love a “big novel” which takes me on a journey and hopefully frightens me along the way.

In recent years I have discovered many new authors via friends´ recommendations and reviews, I will in this first blog just mention a couple of authors and their books which have made a mark on me.

Firstly, Jo Jo Moyes.  I had never read anything from this author but was introduced to her by a friend with Me Before You.  What a beautiful story which drew me in from the first paragraph.  I was hooked and when I had the opportunity to review The One Plus One by Love Reading I grabbed the chance with both hands.  I was blown away with this wonderful love story but not just that, there was the side story of a teenage boy who is different.  Once I finished I wanted to start all over again and not put it down.  Jo Jo you have a fan here.

The next author whom I have discovered this year is Lisa Jewell.  What a funny compelling author, I have a few more to read yet (isn´t it a joy when you discover a new author and have a backlog of his/her books to read) but my favourite must be Vince and Joy.  A teenage couple fall in love but will they ever become a couple in the years that follow.  If you want a good feel read on a wet winter afternoon or that one book to take on holiday, you must read Vince and Joy.

Well that is it for today.  My first baby steps.  Next time I will be looking at psychological thrillers and the e-book versus the paperback/hard cover.