A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)  by Julie McElwain 

A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)  by Julie McElwain 

by gobbler 0 Comments

A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2) 

by Julie McElwain

Let me first start by saying that it’s been long over-due for me to read an Historical Fiction Novel. The last time, was about three years ago, finishing an excellent fictional series of novels about Churchill, written by the uncanny Michael Dobbs.
I was a bit worried about Julie McElwain’s “A Twist in Time” which I was approved to review by Netgalley – time travel? Georgian England? can these mix?
Well they certainly do!
Kendra (a very untypical name to 19th Century England, to emphasize her alien-ness) Donovon is stuck in the past. She is a capable FBI agent, and a very much free woman of the 21st Century. So, when her benefactor and protector (the Duke of Aldridge) needs her help proving his nephew Alec is innocent from murder allegations of the promiscuous Lady Dover – she immediately accepts the challenge.
It is fortunate that the Duke is a is an all-powerful figure in the classes society of PRE-Victorian England, but it is also an inconvenience to Kendra, who finds herself bound by Victorian gowns, the need for a chaperon outdoors, and the underestimation of people. She is resentful to a society that thinks less of women, especially those who do not find a good husband, and do more than to raise children and stay at home… the novel takes place in filthy 19th Century London, but is Kendra up for the challenge?
I found the book a fresh breath of air. There aren’t too many temporal mambo-jambo, and the differences between our society to Georgian England’s sticks out through Kendra inaptness to the strict rules enforced on the women of the era.
in a Poirot fashion, she will slowly cross off suspects from her blackboard, while employing modern day form of investigation, on an almost lawless society. She is aided by bow street runner Sam Kelly, who’s authority is weak at best, and is torn between her attraction to Alec, to the need of getting back home.
I found the novel is not over-sophisticated, it is a fun murder-she-wrote, that tics all the boxes for me. I will most definitely read the first book at some point (which says it all), Thumbs up!

(not to be confused with “Cinderella A Twist in Time” the 3rd sequel to Cinderella who left me and my little girl traumatised…!)

Goodread page for A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2) 
Amazon Link 

 
The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) by Alison Bruce

The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) by Alison Bruce

by gobbler 0 Comments

The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) 

by Alison Bruce

I was given the opportunity to Review the Promise, the newest Goodhew Novel by Alison Bruce. This being my first Goodhew novel, I must first say that I did not feel left out or disoriented by the fact that I did not read any other of Goodhew novels, so this will do perfectly as a standalone novel as well.

I enjoyed “the Promise” – it is a good thriller, and Bruce’s writing is flowing and interesting.
First the plot: DC Gary Goodhew returns to Cambridge police force after a body of a homeless person that acted as his informant for years, had been found on market hill. Aided by Sue Gully, Gary feels that this murder is part of a larger, more sinister work, and being the station’s “trouble maker” pursues this line of inquiry in spite of his superior’s instructions.
Meanwhile we meet Kyle, an injured ex GI, who came back from Afghanistan only to have his life shuttered: he split with his girlfriend, he can’t see his son, and something have made him lay low and keep clear from his Mom and sister. It appears that Kyle has come across something as well, and without telling the police, manages to get his family tangled right in the middle of this mess…
As I said I enjoyed the book, and was actually holding my breath to find the details of the crime mystery as they turn out in the end. Having said that the book does not lack its problems: Bruce takes her time to set the scene, the introduction is messy at best, and I actually needed to go back and reread the first 3 chapters to fit them in the story. Not what you would want from a detective mystery in which the introduction needs to draw you into the entrails of the plot.

I was also a bit disappointed from the climax of the story, without revealing any details, I had the notion that things got “wrapped up” a bit too fast, and since at some point the story was so gripping I expected a bit more. I am aware that Bruce is not your typical boom-bang-shots kind of author, still there was room to make the ending a bit longer, I felt, with slightly more suspense…
At the end of the day, the Promise is a very thrilling novel. The story itself is well placed, and makes you wonder how the author came out with such a plot! I enjoyed the book profoundly, though as I said the beginning and the end could have used some brushing up. 4.5 stars.

 
the Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

the Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

by gobbler 0 Comments

The Ice Twins

by S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins is a book that I did not intend to read… I have received it for free from The Times Plus+ book of the month, and since I didn’t have anything to read I went along with the choice. As a father of two the plot summery was enough to unnerve me: Angus and Sarah Moorcraft are mourning the death of their daughter Lydia, an identical twin to their living daughter of 7, Kirsty. To try and recover from this tragedy and due to a financial ordeal, they decide to live on a remote Scottish Island, Which Angus inherited. The twist starts when Kirstie asks “why do you keep calling me Kirstie mummy? I’m Lydia…”
The plot then becomes heavier, as we discover that the relationship between the couple is hardly ideal and that life on the remote Scottish isle is contributing to Kirsty/Lydia’s identity confusion.

The book is written by Sean Thomas, aka Tom Knox, who I guess decided he wanted a new kind of fan base for this triller, otherwise I do not know why use a third pseudonyms… He sets the scene superbly and I especially liked the twist where we hear the story from alternating narrators: Sarah, the mother, who accounts for the story from her own view, whilst when we see things from Angus’ side, it is told by a third omniscient narrator. This little twist is only understood at the end as essential for keeping us readers in the dark.
For me, the novel plunges into disarray when the second half of the story begins. On one side, it’s good that the writer started wrapping thing up on a faster pace because there’s not much more to say, any new fact would have just contributed to the readers perplexity. On the other hand, the story did have a certain pace which is broken when they reach Scotland – it also feels that also the language/writing is inferior to the start of the book.

As a thriller, the Ice Twins does the trick. It’s hard to conceive of the truth and only when we read the (too short) conclusion does things start to make sense. I Did enjoy the book profoundly and finished it within a few days, as the story as a whole is very good. Highly recommended to creepy mysteries lovers, maybe less for stormy nights 🙂