July 11, 2017
This is a work of fiction based on fact. Charles Dickens is arguably the best British novelist of all time. I have not read many of his books, but I have seen numerous adaptations on film and television. Although I knew about some aspects of his life until I read this book I was unaware of his fascination with hypnosis.
This story tells of his use of hypnosis to treat one Augusta de la Rue while staying in Italy with his family. This actually happened, but in this account the facts are blurred. The story is seen through the fictitious accounts of members of the Dickens household including the man himself. This means that some of the tales, particularly those of the young Dickens children, encompass visions of spectres, ghosts and a variety of creepy crawlies. The author’s descriptions of these apparitions and the atmosphere surrounding the household are expertly drawn.
I did sometimes get confused about the identity of which character was telling a particular aspect of the story and had to check back in the narrative several times to make sure that I understood their identity. This may have been due to the limitations of the way the ebook I was reading was put together and the story would probably be easier to follow in either the hardback or paperback formats of the book. But all in all it was a fascinating read and led me to Google to search out more of the facts that lay behind the talent that was Charles Dickens.
This novel is published by David James at Create Space
and is available as a hardback, paperback and ebook
May 16, 2017
This is a love story set in Northern England against the backdrop of the 1984-1985 coalminers’ strike. The author is at her best when she describes the effects of the food and clothing shortages on a small Yorkshire town and how the women of the community come together to help their men and each other through deprivations they face. I would have liked to hear more about the motivation behind the action of the heroine’s abusive husband. However, the care she has for her mineworker lover and his family is touchingly portrayed. The story is easy to read and I can recommend it to anyone likes well written romantic stories set against a gritty background.
Mighty like a Rose was published by
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
And is available in paperback, as an ebook
and as an audible download.
May 6, 2017
I am very partial to stories of the Wild West and this title intrigued me so when I was offered the chance to read it I did not hesitate. I was not disappointed.
The story takes place in and around two brothels of a western town frequented by cowboys. The plot is straight forward. A young man comes to town carrying a saddle, falls fowl of a local cowboy leader called Billy Lassiter and vows to protect a saloon girl that Lassiter has been abusing. The story is very readable and the characters, with the exception of Lassiter and his gang, are sympathetic.
I am not sure that the attitudes of the characters are authentic to the times but they are certainly believable. I found the book to be an easy and enjoyable read. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates books of this genre
The Bordello Kid is published by Dixon-Price Publishing
and is available from Amazon as a paperback and Kindle ebook
March 23, 2017
This is the second novel in the Phil Allman series but the reader need not worry if he or she has missed reading the first as it stands well on its own in its own right.
In this story Private Investigator, Phil Allman, is hired to find a missing eleven year old girl while at the same time battling with his ex-wife over the custody of his own eleven year old daughter and the nine year old girl he adopted at the end of the first book. His investigations are met with various twists and turns during which he encounters some very shady characters and several murders. We find out more about the psychology of the central character and the story becomes very dark as he attempts to resolve the tasks before him. The characters are exceptionally well described and Allman’s fondness for quoting lines from English and American popular music adds to his personal appeal.
I have already reviewed Book 1 of Allman’s story (see below) and I thoroughly recommend that it be read even if you have read this story first. In this tale we find out more about Allman’s personality and the unravelling of the truth behind what motivates him makes this a fascinating read.
And I love her is published by SynergEbooks
and is available as a pdf for $4.88
March 17, 2017
Phil Allman is a gumshoe in the Raymond Chandler tradition. He is contracted to find the missing twin brother of Elvis Presley who was mistakenly believed to have been stillborn when the legendary King of Rock and Roll was born in 1933.
At first I thought the plot implausible, but Presley did in fact have a twin named Jesse Garon Presley who did not survive when their mother gave birth so it is conceivable as he was born into an impoverished family he could have been given away at birth.
The story starts slowly with the detective narrator explaining that he was an Elvis fan and why the star’s twin was adopted and registered as stillborn. Then as the tale progresses the characters take over and it becomes more interesting. Private Investigator, narrator and protagonist, Phil Allman, is well rounded, likable and struggling to come to terms with the separation from his wife and to maintain contact with his eleven year old daughter while at the same time unravelling the mystery surrounding Elvis’s twin. Characters are expertly introduced and neatly described with amusing asides from Allman. His search for Jesse Garon is intriguing and is complicated by some murders he encounters along the way.
The novel is well crafted and absorbing and, because of my concern for the wellbeing of the central character, I was compelled to read on to the end. The author is a talented storyteller. His skill in this genre is clearly evident and he should be congratulated. I can thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
Jesse Garon is published by SynergEbooks and available as a pdf for $4.88
August 24, 2016
Julie Round is an expert at describing the stresses and strains of family life. In spite of difficult challenges put in front of them her characters find a way through and this is the great strength of all of her narratives. In this story, the husband suffers a breakdown and commits a crime for which he is punished but manages to achieve atonement. The way this affects the family is beautifully described and illustrates how strong family bonds are important in overcoming adversity. The book is not quite up there with her earlier “Lane Trilogy” as I would have liked a more through introductory description of some of the subsidiary characters such as Lisa. But the novel is a good read all the same and is highly recommend it.
Never Pretend is published by Oldstick Books
and is available in paperback for £5.99