Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’ by Denise Mina

 

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’ by Denise Mina

When I was asked if I wanted to review a crime fiction story for Bloody Scotland, the International Crime Writing festival I jumped at the chance.

Bloody_Scotland_bookThe story was ‘Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’ by Denise Mina.  A quick check on Google told me this translated to ‘No one provokes me with impunity’ (although when this comes up in the book its explained as “Cross me and Suffer”), A Latin Motto from the Royal Stuart Dynasty and is the written above the entrance to Edinburgh Castle (Thanks Wiki!).   All of the short stories in the specially written book revolve around a Scottish landmark building, and so the setting for Denise Mina is Edinburgh Castle.

The story begins as the family (Parents Audrey and Pete with their three children – Jake, Hannah & Simon) venture on a touristy day out in Edinburgh. We instantly learn that Jake has ongoing behavioural issues, boarding on psychotic. He has to be watched all the time, and makes life hard for everyone.  A sudden personality change on the day out rings alarm bells but also brings relief which allows for Jake to become the older brother that Simon always wanted.  It’s when the parents finally relax and have a moment to themselves everything changes.

Being a short story everything happens so quickly, we learn a lot about people, in a fragmented way which I was trying to piece together as I went, but as it turned out I didn’t need all of the information in the end anyway.  It’s a great coffee break read, with just enough history of the castle to make you feel like you have learned something but without taking over the story.

There’s a multitude of wonderful Scottish Authors who’ve contributed to this book, with some brilliant other short stories to pique your interest; My recommendation? Head out to Waterstones or visit the shop at www.historicenvironment.scot to buy the book and read them all!

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The Betrayals by Fiona Neill

In today’s world the story of affairs, divorce and betrayal is common. This book tackles it brilliantly – with how the kids take sides, the pressure it puts on family members and the inadequacies people can feel as a parent. the added complication of mental illness and the blame children put on themselves makes for brilliant reading.

Your memory can play tricks on you and when everything changed that one summer the actions of everyone are skewed, A week of puppy love, rejection, adultery and alcoholism.shaped the future of everyone. The story picks up years later when Lisa contacts her ex best friend Rosie causing a downward spiral for Daisy’s mental health, questions around Max’s choice of roommate and girlfriend and asking questions that people didn’t know existed.The Betrayals

There were parts of this book that felt familiar, and made me question if Id read the story before, I ve put this down to how the story flows and the way you are drawn in with the lives of the characters, and the Norfolk setting – maybe its just my memory making the association!

I received this book from Penguin UK – Michael Joseph in exchange for an honest review but the books available to buy now.

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Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Undercover Princess (The Rosewood Chronicles, #1)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review form Penguin Random House UK Children’s and NetGalley.  Its in the children’s category rather than the young adult but it was about princesses, and I usually enjoy a good boarding school story ( Malory Towers by Enid Blyton still sits as top of that list for me).
‘When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.’
Although most of the plot is obvious, partially due to the description; it didn’t matter, its an enjoyable read and makes you want to keep turning the page.
There’s so much more to come from the characters that the future books will have their pick of direction – for me there is a hint of lust between to the two main characters which will be interesting if it develops as its rare to find a Young Adult book that covers the same sex relationship topic for a main character, especially when talking about princesses.

The book is due for release on 2nd November 2017.

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Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Don't Wake Up

Alex Taylor, a Doctor, Pilot and all round over achiever is the likable main character of this Thriller.
As you begin the story Alex awakens on a table and bound, restrained with someone standing over her who is dressed as a doctor but likely isn’t. Next time she comes to shes in the car park.
No one believes her, and slowly she alienates people but trying to share her version of the truth.
The story makes you question who you can trust, if it really happened, and more importantly is being a good person all you need?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil
Crazy, brilliant, ingenious 

They are the three words I would use to describe ‘This Mortal Coil’

In a tech controlled world Catarina and her father Lauchlan are genius’. He is known for his brilliance, but in the past has made mistakes, now the virus is coming for all of them and he needs to make a vaccine. Cartaxus – the company that controls the apps that are available to change your world for the better, from making food taste better, to helping you heal.

I really enjoyed this book, it sits clearly on the YA Sci-fi and fantasy shelf, has interesting characters and its easy to connect with Catarina as you read. Today’s world is so full of technology with a lot of it being managed by apps the future vision feels like it’s a path we could be headed down, scientific research, only learning so much from animals and the ability to grow horns or change your hair colour at the push of a button feels like its nearly a possibility. Its all about trying to outwit nature and change evolution – perfect for getting your imagination fired up.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Mortal Coil is due for release on 02 November 2017.

This was a lovely surprising ARC from net galley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

I picked up this book after watching the last four episode of Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life. Its a show I really enjoyed watching and I had seen some rave reviews about this book.

Lauren Graham is known for playing Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls (and Sarah Braverman on Parenthood too apparently, but I’ve never watched it). This for me felt like a collection of stories that would be something people would bring up in conversation. I caught myself on more than one occasion skimming rather than reading, which is a shame – If your a fan of Lauren’s you’d probably be giving this 5 stars, but for me it lacked a little structure and the amusing parts where overshadowed by blabber.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas

Last Seen Alive

There seems to be a trend for books to be set in the South West of England at the moment, And I love it!
This book is about a couple, hes still friendly with his ex, and we know she has a deep dark secret. They do a house-swap to get away from it all but it only makes things worse. Her history intrigues from the start as its obvious that’s key to the storyline however its not clear if his history will be just as pivotal.

I was foreseeing danger that wasn’t always there, and questioning how the link to the past was going to play out.
Its a brilliant read.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Hinder by Kristin Ping

HinderThis is the story of a teenage boy and girl, with abilities, hidden with a group of like abilitied people from the outside world.

The premise of the story is that they need each other but if they get together it will kill one of them – with a side story reminding us it’s about who you are not what you look like.
For me the story was a little tired, big events happen but it didn’t really feel like anything did.. the time span of the book is likely over about three to six months but for me it felt like it was a day or two.

If you like the paranormal you might enjoy this but be aware it doesn’t feel original or different

This book was an ARC from NetGalley.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
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How Hard Can It Be? – Allison Pearson

How Hard Can It Be?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, I have NetGalley to thank for this ARC
Knowing that this was a sequel book I did wonder how much i would need to catch up on to be up to speed with this one. The answer is not at all. Whilst you dive straight in there is more than enough to help you understand the current situation, so it works perfectly as a standalone book. That being said, I have already added the previous book – I don’t know how she does it to my reading pile.

This is the story of Kate Reddy, middle-aged, broke, and struggling to cope with various aspects of co-parenting with an easily unlikable husband. There’s lies, deceit and just the right amount of romance for it to be a lovely story.

Interestingly there’s so much of Kate’s life that I sympathized with, and connected to although I’ve not experienced the things she was going through – Married, Nope, Kids, Nope, Menopause, nope, Lying about my age, not yet! The writing style helped you feel for Kate, and want to be her friend.

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The Walls by Hollie Overton

The Walls
The Walls is an emotional rollercoster, wrapped up in a pretty bow.
Note: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Random House.

Having loved Hollies first book, Baby Doll I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read her new novel.
The backdrop of continual ‘murder’ whilst going about you everyday life creates a brilliant atmosphere for the Texan setting of Kristy Tuckers story. Her fairy-tale prince turning into a monster creates a desperate environment – picking up the humiliation of the situation, the desire for it to not be true, but also allowing Kristy to use her knowledge of the system to her advantage.
I spent a large part of the book optimistically thinking I hope her Pops makes it through the book, and the baby killer really is innocent and is freed along with the hope she’d secretly take martial arts lessons. Looking back I’m glad Hollie didn’t grant all of my wishes!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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