Birthdays for the Dead – Stuart MacBride

Birthdays for the Dead

ISBN-10 0007344201

ISBN-13 978-0007344208

Author Stuart MacBride

Publisher Harper Collins


From Goodreads

The tabloids call him the Birthday Boy.

He snatches girls just before their 13th birthdays. One year later the family get a homemade card in the post – ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!’ scrawled in blood-red ink above a Polaroid photograph of the missing girl.

Detective Constable Ash Henderson is seconded to the investigation.

What did I think?

Definitely worth me starting this post of by mentioning that this was actually an audio-book version of Birthdays for the Dead I listened to and wasn’t the traditional physical book or the more modern e-book. Now, the reason why this is important is because listening to this book was probably the main reason that it took me a long time to get in to – that being because the narrator (Ian Hanmore) had quite a thick Scottish accent which took a lot of time for me to get used to and understand.

With that being said, I have read Stuart MacBride’s books previously and knew I should expect big things. Birthdays for the Dead did definitely not disappoint me and MacBride has written a gritty, tension building thriller that keeps you on your toes the whole way through.

I was constantly second guessing myself and admiring how MacBride has the ability to make you believe that you know who the Birthday Boy is…when in actual fact, the story has so much more than just the Birthday Boy storyline. MacBride has somehow managed to weave around four different story lines in to this book which makes it intricate, interesting and at some points confusing.

My four heart rating really is down the fact that it took me a while to get in to, like I said, this could be just because I tried the audio-book out and struggled with the Scottish accent but overall MacBride has written a novel that you cannot put down and keeps you wanting more. As Birthdays for the Dead is the first book in the Ash Henderson series, I am intrigued to see where MacBride takes it next!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Dead Secret – Ava McCarthy

Dead Secret

ISBN-10 0007363915

ISBN-13 978-0007363919

Author Ava McCarthy

Publisher Harper Collins

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

Two quick shots. One for him. One for you.

After the death of her three-year-old daughter, Jodie has nothing left to live for – or almost nothing.

She has one task to fulfil before she takes her own life. And that’s to kill the man she holds responsible for her daughter’s death – her seemingly perfect husband, Ethan.

But Ethan is hiding more than just his true nature. And as more horrifying secrets from his past emerge, Jodie’s strength will be pushed to the limit…

What did I think?

Wow! Ava McCarthy really knows how to write a great thriller! I literally could not put this book down and read it in one sitting! I needed to get the the end of Jodie and Ethan’s story and I genuinely could not guess where it was going to go or how it was going to end.

Initially when reading through ‘Dead Secret’ I was so sure that this was going to be a guaranteed 4* review but the ending just shocked me more than I really expected and McCarthy earned 5* from me. I have never known a book (recently) that has such a huge twist right at the end that makes you look at the book in a whole new light.

McCarthy has really impressed me with this book, it’s dark and full of suspense and while I thought the start of the book was quite unbelievable, McCarthy soon managed to sway me as she progressed the book with unexpected surprises.

I thoroughly recommend this book, especially if you love thrillers…this is about as good as it gets and really doesn’t let you feel comfortable at any moment. Prepare for the twists…and also to be so hooked that you read it in one sitting!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Carrying Albert Home – Homer Hickam

Carrying Albert Home

ISBN-10 0008154244

ISBN-13 978-0008154240

Author Homer Hickam

Publisher Harper Collins

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

Elsie Lavender and Homer Hickam (the father of the author) were high school classmates in the West Virginia coalfields, graduating just as the Great Depression began. When Homer asked for her hand, Elsie instead headed to Orlando where she sparked with a dancing actor named Buddy Ebsen (yes, that Buddy Ebsen). But when Buddy headed for New York, Elsie’s dreams of a life with him were crushed and eventually she found herself back in the coalfields, married to Homer.

Unfulfilled as a miner’s wife, Elsie was reminded of her carefree days with Buddy every day because of his unusual wedding gift: an alligator named Albert she raised in the only bathroom in the house. When Albert scared Homer by grabbing his pants, he gave Elsie an ultimatum: “Me or that alligator!” After giving it some thought, Elsie concluded there was only one thing to do: Carry Albert home.

What did I think? 

I was sent a review copy of ‘Carrying Albert Home’ by Harper Collins and I really didn’t know what to expect! It is completely different to any book I have ever read before but in the best possible way.

Hickam has managed to write a masterpiece with this novel. I loved the whole book from start to finish and I found it really intriguing as to what parts of this book where true and which were slightly exaggerated.

The book is written in such a light-hearted way and there were many parts throughout the book that made me laugh out loud (although I was reaching for a box of tissues at times too!). The dilemmas and situations that Elsie and Homer found themselves in made for such a great read. In 1930’s America you can really imagine these stories happening (probably because they did) but they way Hickam writes it makes your imagination run wild and really paints the picture.

Hickam has also managed to work in some great morals and life questions in to this novel. Whether or not that was intended or if it really is the full true story of his parents, I don’t know. I found that this book spoke a lot of finding true love, second chances and making a home a home – it really is quite moving.

I really cannot recommend this book enough. You need this ‘story’ of the Hickam family in your life, and I dare you not to become attached to Albert, Elsie, Homer and the unnamed rooster!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥ (yeah-yeah-yeah)

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Crooked Little Vein – Warren Ellis

Crooked Little Vein

ISBN-10 0061252050

ISBN-13 978-0061252051

Author Warren Ellis

Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks


From Goodreads

Burned-out private detective and self-styled shit magnet Michael McGill needed a wake-up call to jump-start his dead career. What he got was a virtual cattle prod to the crotch, in the form of an impossible assignment delivered directly from the president’s heroin-addict chief of staff. It seems the Constitution of the United States has some skeletons in its closet: the Founding Fathers doubted that the document would be able to stave off human nature indefinitely, so they devised a backup Constitution to deploy at the first sign of crisis. In the government’s eyes, that time is now, as America is overgrown with perverts who spend more time surfing the Web for fetish porn than they do reading a newspaper. They want to use this “Secret Constitution” to drive the country back to a time when civility, God, and mom’s homemade apple pie were all that mattered.

The only problem is, no one can seem to find it . . .

So who better to track it down than a private dick who’s so down-and-out that he’s coming up the other side, a shamus whose only skill is stumbling into every depraved situation imaginable?

With no lead to speak of, and no knowledge of the underground world in which the Constitution has traveled, McGill embarks on a cross-country odyssey of America’s darkest, dankest underbelly. Along the way, his white-bread sensibilities are treated to a smorgasbord of depravity that runs the gamut of human imagination. The filth mounts; it is clear that this isn’t the kind of life, liberty, or happiness that Thomas Jefferson thought Americans would enjoy in the twenty-first century.

But what McGill learns as he closes in on the real Constitution is that freedom takes many forms, the most important of which may be the fight against the “good old days.”

What did I think? 

Warren Ellis is well known for his graphic novels and I have previously read (and loved!) his book ‘Gun Machine‘ so I expected big things from this. To start, this is by far one of the quirkiest books I have ever read. From saline being injected in to ‘private parts’ to Baby Jesus butt plugs to the cult scene of Godzilla porn (and that’s just the start of it!) Ellis really finds the darker things in life and documents them brilliantly – it is slightly worrying at how much he really has put in to this book!

‘Crooked Little Vein’ is a brilliant book in terms of the effort that has been put in to it, but at the same time I feel like it lacks a gripping story line. Ellis has ensured that there were twists to keep you guessing that little bit to make sure you finish the book.

Don’t get me wrong, it really is a brilliant book, but I sometimes felt that Ellis put a bit more of his effort in to the research on the quirky and unexpected things and I say researched…because (worryingly!) almost every ‘quirk’ in ‘Crooked Little Vein’ is not invented by Ellis, it’s actually real!

The book is definitely worth a read, even if you just want to discover some of these random fetishes that exist in the world!

My Rating? ♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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