Mini Book Reviews – A Catch Up

In a feeble attempt to go into the New Year with a clean slate and no outstanding book reviews, I’ve rounded up my most recently read books:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

The third instalment in the Cormoran Strike detective series is a cracking read despite the often gruesome scenes, being a tad bit too long and scattered with what I’d call pompous words that I just felt were not needed in this kind of novel.  I know this sounds like I didn’t enjoy it but I really did – particularly the developing relationship between Strike and Robin.  Having inadvertently read the last sentence I thought I knew what was going to happen but yet again I still got it all wrong!  Am looking forward to the next instalment of the BBC drama as it should be the best one yet in this much more personal case.

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon 

The Dying Game by Asa Avdic

This was our latest book club read which promised us a mix of The Hunger Games meets And Then There Were None with some Big Brother thrown in for good measure – therefore mahoosive expectations….what a let down!  This book had so much promise even though it felt somewhat a rip off of those previously mentioned books but unfortunately just didn’t deliver.  I, and the group, felt that there were too many unanswered questions and that none of the characters were really that likeable so we didn’t give two hoots when things happened to them.  There were also issues with the writing; whether that be the translation or the actual text, who knows.  What a shame…

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

An unusual quick Christmas re-read for me in that I very rarely re-read books as there’s so many others to read but I was given this edition last Christmas.  I actually enjoyed reading this more the second time around as I felt I understood the story better.  This really is a lovely version with black inside papers and a gorgeous cover.




Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Along with catching up on reviews, I’m also trying to reduce the backlog of advanced reader copies I have outstanding and here’s one from that list – the fourth instalment in the DCI Erika Foster series.  This is the only series that I’ve read from the start and would recommend to anyone who’s not yet started them.  Fast paced, gripping with thoroughly vile villains and a team of realistic likeable detectives on the hunt for them.  These books should be on every crime thriller fan’s reading list and this one doesn’t disappoint either.  Onwards to number 5 which is also waiting on my Kindle!


Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

So that’s me all caught up for now.  Have you read any of these books or are they are on your reading list? Do let me know.

I’m hoping to get back into my blogging properly next year and make a real effort.

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's CallingWhat’s it about?

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

My thoughts

This book had been on my Kindle since publication so I thought it high time I read it.  I approached this book with trepidation though as several of my blogging friends had warned me they thought it quite slow.

As with any book that is the first installment of a series it was always going to be overly descriptive with the background stories of the main characters and there’s no exception here.  The book as a whole is very descriptive and wordy but this didn’t deter me or made it feel overly long as I felt the plot moved consistently and some parts felt like I was reading it in real time.  I didn’t really see the point of the Latin quotes at the start of each part to be honest; by the time I’d read the first page of the new chapter I’d forgotten the quote and any relevance it may have had.  Show-offy ness!! (I just made that word up!)

I recently reviewed The Girl in the Ice where I said that the author has to set their characters apart from all those others available. You’ve got to believe and invest in these characters otherwise it could be just any old easily forgotten crime story and it’s the same with this book and the protagonists Cormoran and Robin.  I really enjoyed their back stories and their developing working relationship.

I liked the style of Strike’s investigation, I think this suited me very well because I love court room dramas and the style of conversation and investigation is just like that.  To me, it’s a proper detective novel, asking the right questions of the right people, using your initiative, going out on a limb (pardon the pun), catching people in lies and putting it all together.  As I raced towards the end and as the big reveal approaches there were scenes that actually gave me the chills!

“Her death was an almost palpable presence in the room, as though it stood waiting patiently, politely, behind the curtains.”

I’ve never read Harry Potter but I have read The Casual Vacancy which was laborious so I didn’t read and review this book particularly as a Rowling fan but I do love a good whodunit, and for me, this didn’t disappoint.  I’ll definitely pick up the second book The Silkworm.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Robert Galbraith

Website | Goodreads


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