My avatar & alterego!!

My avatar & alterego!!
Designed by Alex, my nephew. He is a very talented artist. He does commissions, if you are interested contact me.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Usborne Stories for Little Boys

This book is a beautifully padded, traditional tales for boys.  Although the title reads 'for little boys', I would suggest that boys up to and including 10 years would enjoy reading this or indeed, having it read to them.  What a cosy way to end the day!  The blurb on the back reads:

' " A puppet, an emperor and a gingerbread man are all waiting to tell you their tales, in this exciting collection of stories. Ride back in time for a castle adventure and take an incredible journey right under the ground" '

Beautiful, colourful illustrations accompany the stories, bringing the tales to life, and enriching a child's imagination. 

Fully recommended by my 4 children!  Including my daughter!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths

The synopsis reads: ' " Ruth shivers, not entirely from the cold.  Who would bury bodies here, in this inaccessible spot?  The bodies are bound, their hands tied behind their backs.
When bones are unearthed at the foot of a north Norfolk cliff, forensics expert Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson are put on the case.  The skeletons have lain there for decades, possibly since the war, and for all that time a hideous crime has been concealed.
When a body washes up on the beach, it becomes clear that someone wants the truth of the past to stay buried, and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.  Can Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to stop another murder? " '

This is the first time that I have read an Elly Griffiths' book, and I believe that this is her 3rd one.  I know you should not judge a book by its cover, but I did just that.  The cover shows a rather dark shadow of a a house standing precariously at the sea's edge. If I am honest (and rather ashamed) to admit that I chose this book because of the the ethereal and supernatural look: think 'Rebecca', by Daphne Du Maurier and you get the idea.  However, I am glad I did...
   
The first few pages of chapter 1 promised to deliver a gripping story and solve a mystery spanning back to World War 2.  A group of archaeologists are scouring the beach using special equipment to measure the scale of coastal erosion.stumble across a cave in a cliff which on closer inspection appears to have human remains.  From here, the story gathers pace, and the reader is quickly introduced to the main characters:  Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson, and their supporting colleagues: DS Judy Johnson and DS Clough.  Ruth and Nelson have a shared history which remains a secret throughout the story.  Ruth's 6 month daughter, Kate, is married Nelson's daughter.  Ruth is a brilliant archaeologist who is completely dedicated to her work, and,(what appears to us) less so to her daughter.  Although this is  a murder "who dunnit" investigation, I think the author has raised lots of modern day issues without distracting from the story.  Issues such as single mums working, well Ruth is subject to many harsh comments that imply she should be at home looking after her baby.  I think DS Clough is responsible for this one!   Complicated marriages - Nelson is happily married to Michelle who he will not leave.  Religion, Nelson is a catholic and Cathbad (Ruth's close friend) is pagan.  Environment issues of coastal erosion: Jack Hastings, the MEP  lives in the house at sea's end, and is angry that the government will not do anything about coastal erosion because it does not care. 


Why I like this story?
It did not turn out to be 'gripping' in the correct meaning of the word, but I found this to be 'gripping' in a completely surprising way. I found the characters, the two main ones, Ruth and Nelson, to be incredibly strong and principled. To me, this way worked and rather than being enemies, as murder stories usually depict, this worked in their favour. Ruth's strength matched Nelson's softer (dare I say feminine) side. Nelson befriended those who he had suspected could be responsible for the murders of the German soldiers.  Getting to know them, such as Jack Hastings, his mother Irene Hastings, and at one point suspecting Jack's daughter, Clara. I was impressed and wondered if perhaps the police of today could adopt that technique?!   The 'perfect' couple became in essence, the 'perfect' crime busting duo!    To me they were the only characters in the  book and that is why I have only concentrated on them.  .



 
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This book is now for sale at £3.75. Excellent condition. Highly recommended.
 www.greenmetropolis.com/member.aspx?id=185127

Monday, 5 September 2011

Some Lie and Some Die, by Ruth Rendell

The synopsis reads: ' " When the body of a brutally beaten girl is found in a quarry during a hedonistic hippy festival at Sundays near Kingsmarkham, Wexford is first on the scene.  The victim's face has been pulped by the back-end of a bottle, but who, in this atmosphere of peace and love, could be capable of such violence? The body is that of local girl turned stripper Dawn Stonor, but it is the unlikely link between this ill-fated and the mysterious folk-singer Zeno Vedast that piques Wexford's interest.  Through a web of lies and deceit Wexford uncovers a history of love and hate that began years earlier, and he realises that never has he witnessed a murder of such desperate passion..."

Thumbs up again for Ruth Rendell!  I love the Chief Inspector Wexford series. It is full of unexpected surprise and gripping realism. Wexford is of a generation which appreciates times past, and yet, recognises that time has to move on.  Unlike poor Detective Inspector Burden who is scathing of the younger generation and their ways, and 'things were better in my time.'  In my opinion, this novel, as do the others in the series, finds both men fighting crime in their own way, while holding these beliefs close to their hearts. I find this reassuring and I think it adds value to the story.  This is one of the main reasons why I like Ruth Rendell's books.  Nearly always Banks will say something which leaves me thinking about it for a long while after the I have finished.  In this case, Banks, on discovering the murder of a girl, says to Burden, ' "There must be many murder victims,' Chief Inspector Wexford said slowly, 'who meet their deaths without knowing in the least why they are to die." ' It is quotes like this, which in my opinion, prove that Rendell is really a master crime writer.

Who would be the ideal audience? In my humble opinion, Rendell lovers, crime and murder books fans, and I would recommend readers new to crime fiction to give it a go.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Time to catch up!

I have been so busy..what with school holidays and trying to catch up with my crafting deadlines, that my book blog has been forgotten.  Well, the Ginger Cat is back.  Lots of books have passed through my paws and into my lovely warm and cosy basket so watch this space! 

Friday, 10 June 2011

YOU'RE NEXT

In my humble opinion, this was a 4 out of 5 book.  To me, this book struck the right notes: a toddler abandoned in a park, only to raised in a foster home with a dozen other abandoned boys.  The main character, sorry I have forgotten the name as I have sold this book on, learns about life the hard way. Fighting and bullying are the lessons that each boy is 'taught' on a daily basis.  No one really to care for them, their welfare is in the hands of the 'earth mother', who to some extent tries to do her best.  As a mum to 3 boys and a girl, I found myself wanting to embrace these boys and tell them everything will be ok.  No, in fact, I wanted to cry!  The boy, forms a brotherly bound with another lad. Together these boys became quick learners to surviving life in the harsh, no-nonsense community.  Our original boy leads a normal, respectable life. Married, a daughter, a professional job, and a dream house.  Then it goes all wrong, from here, things are happening..his daughter's life is threatened, someone is breaking into his office, stalking him in fact.  No one believes him and soon he becomes a fugitive.  But why?  Well thanks to his foster home friend, they do get to the bottom of it.  Thank goodness, as this was affecting me too!  I had to finish the book now!  Ok, ok, some people have said the ending was silly, almost a anticlimax.  I do not know I would agree..but what I can tell you is the ending is not what you would expect!  Read it and I reckon you would be hooked! So why then did I give it a 4 out of 5? Well, let's just say, the ending appears to more fantasy considering the realistic early part of the story!  But, who knows?  Maybe that was the author's intention?

WHAT A BARGAIN! 10 REXFORD SERIES (RUTH RENDELL) FOR £9.99

I am so excited!  I bought a load of non-fiction mystery books and children's books from Bananas online shop, part of the Book People.   I know you will all understand when an avid reader get soooo excited...

10 Rexford series:
                 A Sleeping Life, 
                 Shake Hands for Ever, 
                 Some Lie and Some Die,
                 Murder Being Once Done,
                                         A New Lease Of Death,
                                         A Guilty Thing Surprised,
                                         The Best Man To Die,
                                         From Doon With Death,
                                         No More Dying Then,
                                         Wolf To The Slaughter

Watch this space!  As soon as each one is read, then please check out my page on this link www.greenmetropolis.com/member.aspx?id=185127  where I sell them.  My name is, well..gingercat..what else?  Of course, I will review here too.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

DREAMER, PETER JAMES

The last time that Sam had the dream she was seven years old; and that was the night her parents were to die.  Twenty-five years later, Sam's nightmares are starting to come true once more.  Now successfully juggling her roles of career woman and mother to a young child she attempts to shut them out.  As psychiatrists, clairvoyants and dream therapy fail her, she is left to confront the evil alone, with knowing its name: hallucination, premonition, reincarnation or psychic projection?  Whatever it is, it won't relinquish its hold.

And the Sam starts dreaming of her own death...


My Humble Opinion:

I am a big fan of Peter James especially his 'Dead.....'  books and so I was excited to get my paws on this one.   Ok, it was very good but not what I expected at all!  Why? Without going into details as I do not want to ruin the story for others, the book began with no build up to the story; immediately I felt I was right in the middle of the my most terrifying dream I have ever had experienced.  Piercing screams, in the middle of nowhere and being chased by a knife carrying maniac who wants to kill me! No not me, but that is how you the reader is feeling, at least that is what I felt.

In the story the main character is Sam Curtis.  She has experienced premonitionary dreams of a terrifying nature at the age of seven and then again twenty-five years later when at thirty-two.  Her dreams always involved a hooded mask figure named 'Slider', who slips in and out of dreams perhaps? At least to me that is the case.  Afterall, Sam's dream state and her reality at times are one in the same.  One minute she is going about her normal day and the next, in the same paragraph, Sam is having a terrifying premonitionary dream that is about to come true. To me this was so effectively presented that I found myself shouting and warning Sam of impending danger and of 'Sliders'  reappearance. 

In my own life I have a friend who experiences nightmares to the extent that she finds sleep difficult to achieve.  This has always been of interest as she (my friend), has spoken of  seeing figures like black shadows or people.  To my delight and surprise, this has a name which is mentioned:  Hypnogogic and Hypnopompic , seeing " weird things when you drifted off to sleep or work up" (p56). 

Anything I did not like?  Not really.  The only thing which I would comment on is the lack of clarity at the end.  Long after I had finished the story I was still trying to understand the story and how the lives of the characters were intwined with Sam's?  Did it really end like that?  Want to know how it ended?  Well you have to read the book then!!

Who would this book suit?  Readers who like James' books, those who like a bit of fantasy and suspence and perhaps gory stuff..sorry I did not mention that bit! 

Footnote, please remember this is my humble opinion only and interpretation.

Ginger Cat