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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: Nick Russell – Big Lake

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Nick Russell - Big LakeThe first few pages of this book did absolutely nothing to entice me into reading it. I like a book to pull me in and have me hooked from the very beginning, but the start of this book just felt boring to me. But I persevered and I’m now very glad that I did.

The book centres around a town called Big Lake in Arizona, and although this is a real town, Nick Russell is very keen to point out that the book is completely fictional. And after reading the book, I would agree that it must be, since it’s completely bonkers!

At the start of the book, two men are driving an armored money deliver vehicle down to Big Lake, when the spot a young woman at the side of the road. It’s against protocol to pull over, but they do anyway. Then one of the men pulls the gun on the other and shoots him dead, in a plot to get away with the money with his lovely lady friend. But after dragging the body of his friend into the back of the van, the woman turns the gun on him and both men are dead, leaving the woman to drive away with the money. But who was this mysterious woman?

Obviously when the police turn up, the woman is long gone and they have no idea she was there, and so starts a long investigation to find out what went wrong. Chief investigator is the town Sheriff, Jim Weber – brother in law to one of the murdered men. An FBI agent is sent to help out, and they soon become good friends. Which is good, because he’s taking the news of his brother in law’s death almost as badly as his sister, the murdered man’s wife. And it turns out that the other murdered man, Johnson, was a well known womanizer with plenty of people who would be more than willing to go after him with a gun.

I won’t go too much more into the plot, but as you can probably tell, there are a lot of twists and turns and dead ends before we find out who the real culprit is. And let me tell you; whoever you thought it was, you will almost definitely be wrong. When it was revealed, I absolutely couldn’t believe it! The book also left itself open nicely for a sequel, which I will definitely be checking out! I loved the main character of Jim Weber, and I’d love to see where the plot develops next!

4/5

Review: S.J. Watson – Before I Go To Sleep

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sj-watson-before-i-go-to-sleepWell this book was described as ‘The best debut thriller for years’ and it totally lived up to that description, building up and up until a gripping finale that had me completely oblivious to everything happening around me.

In the first chapter, you wake up with Christine in an unfamiliar house, and are taken through her whole range of emotions as her husband Ben explains to her who she is and what has happened to cause her to lose all her memories. After he has gone to work, she receives a phone call from a doctor who claims to have been working with her without Ben’s knowledge. She doesn’t believe him at first, but she looks in her diary and can see their appointments. He then tells her about a journal she has been writing to remind herself of her life and the things she has been remembering, she’s kept it hidden in a shoebox in her wardrobe so Ben can’t see it. She opens up the diary and on the front page in capital letters are three words:

“DON’T TRUST BEN”

She sits down to read her journal and we are then reading it along with her. We are taken through every discovery she makes about her life, every memory that comes back to her, and the confusion that she has every time she wakes up. But she is making progress and starting to recall things from her past, flashbacks and little snippets of conversations. The story keeps you gripped as you wonder who to trust, just the same as Christine is trying to make the same decision. My mind was flickering back and forth and back and forth between Ben and Dr Nash, and as we got further through the journal every revelation changed my mind again.

That is until the end of the book when we switch back to the present day. Christine has read to the end of her diary, but notices that there is a week missing where she has no idea what has happened. This all leads to a fast paced and nail biting finale with the guy that she has realised she can’t trust. As I mentioned before, I couldn’t put the book down for the last 60 pages, and I was so involved in the story that I became completely unaware of everything around me. The way that the book is written means you feel like you are Christine, you’ve discovered every other part of herself at the same time as she has, so you feel just as terrified as she does.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but it was just as thrilling as the reviews led me to believe. I would highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of suspense, but don’t try and guess what will happen because it won’t be what you expected…

5-5

Now Reading: S.J. Watson – Before I Go To Sleep

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sj-watson-before-i-go-to-sleepThis book seems quite intriguing – I was stood in front of my bookshelf pulling random books off the shelf to decide which one to read next and this one jumped right out at me. From the back of the book:

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight.

Sounds fairly average so far right? Then the last two sentences:

And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Sounds thrilling – I can’t wait!