I am so glad that I managed to get to the Library yesterday to change my books. This week I had already finished my pile and so chose some random ebooks from the Library Service’s catalogue. Unfortunately, they were not terribly good choices!
The first book was The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin. Here is the blurb:
Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.
When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…
A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?
I was only able to award this book two stars, despite the average on Goodreads being 3.93. This is what I wrote in my review:
A well-written, but ultimately very annoying book. Most reviewers seem to love it, but I found the characters unpleasant and the last few chapters so irritating that I only dragged myself to the end to find out “who done it”. So much of the plot was ridiculously unlikely and events and motivations not at all plausible.
I think I was swimming against the tide with my second book of the week too! First of all, here is the blurb for Leigh Russell’s Class Murder, #10 in the DI Geraldine Steel series:
With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.
Geraldine Steel is back for her tenth case. Reunited in York with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson, she discovers that her tendency to bend the rules has consequences. The tables have turned, and now he’s the boss.
When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the confusing case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?
I gave this book three stars, against the Goodreads average of 4.18. Maybe I am a maverick reader! Anyway, here is my short review:
A good enough plot with plenty of unexpected twists. The main characters were interesting, although not particularly well-drawn, possibly because this is #10 in a series and readers may already know quite a lot about Geraldine, at least. I found the writing very clunky in parts and very irritating in others. For example, there was a lot of repetition about Ian’s feelings towards dead bodies, amongst other things. This reminded me of those TV programmes which spend too much time catching up after every ad break. Yes, we know what Ian is like, we know Geraldine’s relationship with Helena, we know why she has moved to York – the author has told us this and we don’t need to be reminded over and over again!
After this, I am looking forward to starting the first book in my new Library pile: Dunstan by Conn Iggulden. I will let you all know my verdict next week!
Until then, Happy Reading!