Spooky House


The Guardians by Andrew Pyper was a disturbing and suspenseful thriller.
Three old friends from teenage years are returning to their hometown as grown ups
twenty or so years later after another of their friends, Ben commits suicide.
The tragic death isn’t the only reason making it hard for them to return.
Coming back means facing the past.

Trevor has Parkinson’s and struggles with everyday tasks but manages to get onto the train to Grimshaw. He meets with Randy, trying to contact Carl, who has drug addiction problems and is hard to get hold of.

They discover that Ben has hardly left his mother’s house during the years they spent outside the small town. Ben’s house is situated directly opposite an abandoned building, locally known as the Thurman house. The place brings shivers to Trev and Randy to this day.

Later on Trevor learns from Ben’s journals that he took it upon himself to watch the building, to make sure nobody enters it. That he spent the rest of his life making sure nobody is affected by the evil living in there, which has ruined their lives when they were boys.

The four of them made a pact all those years ago, never to speak of what has happened in the house. However Trevor thinks they should break the promise when a young woman, a daughter of their old classmate’s goes missing. Would they be able to face the past in order to help the missing girl?


Chilling 4 ice cubes ice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.png, leaves or door knobs from me.


Chilling ice cubes, leaves or door knobs rating:

ice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.png– one of the best books I read

ice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.png – charmed

ice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.png – good read

ice-transparent-18.pngice-transparent-18.png– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

ice-transparent-18.png – don’t waste your time



Nine lives



In a book by Liane Moriarty the Nine Perfect Strangers gather in a spa resort, a holistic and luxury place, with a goal to improve their lives on all possible levels. Because of this claim, the people who join each other there, come with all various different problems, expectations and attitudes.

The owner of the place is fully committed to the idea of self-improvement. Not only professionally – her whole life is  built around this idea, though it hasn’t always been the case for her. Masha used to be a highly successful and a high rank business woman. The heart attack she has experience made her think twice about her approach to life. She is thankful to the paramedics for saving her life and claims she has experienced something extraordinary during the time where her heart stopped beating. One of the paramedics listens closely to her revelations and together they decide to open the Tranquillum House.

Arriving to the place is Frances, a romantic novel writer, a recent victim of an internet scam dealing with the first onset of menopause and her first book rejection.

On her way she meets Tony, a retired successful footballer who has recently lost his dog and who doesn’t get to see his children and grandchildren often enough. The lack of these contacts makes a bigger impact on him than he initially realises.

Napoleon, Heather and Zoe come altogether as a family. They are grieving a loss of their son and a brother to a suicide.

Lars is a young and handsome divorce attorney who due to his personal experiences that his parents divorce left him with, tends to take women as his clients to help him keep what they otherwise might have lost towards their greedy husbands. At the same time he is struggling to commit to his partner and constantly running away to yet another self-improvement retreat. He doesn’t expect this one to be any different from many others he has been to.

Ben and Jessica are a married couple who won a lottery and became reach. Jessica is obsessed with plastic surgeries which for Ben are ruining his wife’s natural looks, meanwhile Ben is obsessed with his expensive car.

Carmel is a mother of four young daughters with a low self esteem. Previously a successful business woman, now a single mother whose husband left her for another woman.

What’s different about the resort is the deep personal involvement of the owner and her narcissistic personality along with her previous experience as a leader. If you want to see how far is she willing to go to achieve the results she is hoping for, please read.

I liked the little suspense created by the weirdness of the place, the characters and their different attitudes towards it. Overall 4 269422269422269422269422 cars, stars or chocolate pieces.


Cars, stars or chocolate pieces rating:

269422 269422 269422 269422 269422 – one of the best books I read

269422 269422 269422 269422 – charmed

269422 269422 269422 – good read

269422 269422 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

269422 – don’t waste your time

Original setting



I couldn’t wait to write this review. Finally came across a book that has gripped me from the very first first pages and kept me interested till the very end. And what a surprise at a price of about 1 euro. The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper is a thriller with a protagonist called Aaron Quinlan. He is a successful surgeon whose father has recently passed away. He is in a back seat of a black limo on his way to his father’s estate where members of his family, his siblings and his mother will be present to hear the lawyer read his father’s will.

There is a catch though. All of them are required to spend thirty days in the remote lodge in the woodland in their own company and without their phones, internet or any contact with the outside world, in order to receive a significant chunk of inheritance each. Whoever decides to walk out of the main gate and call for the limo back, will loose their part of the fortune.

Nothing in this book was as it seemed at first. It was hard to predict the outcome. Just when I thought that was as much surprises as there was, another emerged. Original, modern, set in fictional yet very believable times.  I also liked the way it was written, skillfully.

Highly recommended. I will definitely be reaching for more of the author’s books.

Ah, go on, I will give it 5 locks 162641162641162641162641162641, shovels or umbrellas.


Locks, shovels or umbrellas rating:

162641162641162641162641162641– one of the best books I read

162641162641162641162641 – charmed

162641162641162641 – good read

162641162641 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

162641 – don’t waste your time


Fairy Tale


The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly started rather promising. Three women celebrate birthday on the same day.

It’s Ginger thirtieth when she is a bridesmaid on her best friend’s wedding. Fitted into an ugly dress she overhears her friend speaking of her very pejoratively. Devastated she runs home and decides to give up on her social life, as she only seems to be successful at her work.
On the same day Sam turns forty when her waters break. She has been trying for so long to have a child and now that it has arrived she is terrified that she isn’t going to be a good mother.
Callie is having a fiftieth birthday party, one that she didn’t want but her husband insisted on throwing. Surrounded by people she doesn’t much care for, some actual strangers she waits for the evening to end. But before it does the Gards arrive looking for her husband. He is nowhere to be found and wanted for fraud. With all their assets frozen she packs the essentials and along with her daughter runs to seek shelter, away from the curious questions of the press.
The idea of all three women sharing a birthday was a nice touch. The three plots were interesting to begin with. However I didn’t much enjoy how they story lines progressed, and was rather disappointed towards the end. Ginger story plot turned out to be rather naive and more suitable for an adolescent audience and someone that has just turned twenty, rather than thirty. Sam’s problems were easily cured at the end. Callie’s life, despite the trauma, turned out for the better. Perhaps not financially but but on all other levels. And to make matters even more fairy tale like, all three women met at the end and became good friends.
I will grant 3 5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b 5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b 5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b coffee cups, bowls of ice cream or chocolate bars as it was an easy and pleasant read, just not very high flying.


Coffee cups, bowls of ice cream or chocolate bars rating:

5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b – one of the best books I read

5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b – charmed

5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b – good read

5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

5b1e86048d54e1f9870f35a3d2fff12b – don’t waste your time



In The House Wife by Valerie Keogh, Diane married a man she had known only for a few weeks. Moved to his house, to a new town where she doesn’t know anybody. No family to visit her either. She got pregnant soon after. Her beloved daughter, now 3 years old is starting a preschool. It is hard for Diane to part with the little one even for a few hours, but this is apparently what she has agreed to. She doesn’t remember doing so, but her husband says so. There are other things she doesn’t remember. Unsettling things that prevent her from having a good night sleep. Something has happened that resulted in her staying in a psychiatric ward for a few weeks. Her husband hasn’t filled the blanks in her memory. The doctors said that she should allow time for them to come back to her on their own, that this will help with her healing.

Diane is very unsettled and anxious. She is convinced that somebody is following her, or is she imagining things? Why would this strange woman follow her home and watch her pick up her daughter from the school? Has she been to the supermarket at the same time as her? Who is she? Afraid that the person only exists in her head, she keeps it to herself, not saying a word even to her husband. She feels he is distant to her anyway.  They no longer share a bedroom. He goes up to his room after dinner and spends his evenings there. She sits alone in the downstairs living room and sips wine.

Once the curiosity gets to her, she tries her husband’s door when he is out of the house, but she is surprised to find the door locked. She manages to find the key and learns some secrets. Looks like her husband wants to leave her for somebody else and tries to win the custody of their daughter by making everyone believe that she isn’t fit to be a mother. Is that what’s happening or is she imagining things? Should she trust her husband? She has no proof he is doing any of that, and at times even doubts herself that she is reading the situation correctly.  Maybe she is in fact on a verge of another breakdown?


3 Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 foot prints from me.


Foot print, wine glasses or envelopes rating:

Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3– one of the best books I read

Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 – charmed

Feet-3 Feet-3 Feet-3 – good read

Feet-3 Feet-3 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Feet-3 – don’t waste your time



Short stories for long evenings


Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark




I liked the stories, although I am not sure I would have Picked the “Death Wears a Beauty Mask” as the first one though. The characters were likeable but the story wasn’t as intriguing as I have hoped. A newly wed couple flies to see the bride’s sister Alexandra, who is a successful model. Only she isn’t anywhere to be found. The story was alright but left me wondering if the rest of the book would be just OK too.

However the “Stowaway” delivered more. A plane destined to America lands in Danubia to refuel. When the stewardess Carol discovers a passenger who should not be on board, she decides not to give him away to the Danubian police. Her decision is risky, especially when a police commissioner in charge of the search boards the plane. She keeps the secret to herself, doesn’t share it with her ex-partner Tom, who flies the plane. She is aware than by doing so she risks her job, as the company she is working for may loose a permission to land in Danubia. Furthermore if the passenger is discovered before the safely land in America, she might be even detained in Danubia herself. She puts Tom’s future at risk as well, because as a pilot he is responsible for the plane and should be aware who he has on board. However all this taken into account, pure humanitarian reasons don’t allow her to disclose the stowaways presence.

Straight after, another heartbreaking story hits us hard. In “When the Bough Breaks” a mother is grieving her lost son. She blames herself for his death, that she didn’t get the dry three brunch cut in time. She isn’t the only one who misses her little boy. A neighbour boy lost his best friend. A boy whom she wasn’t very fond of and with whom her son was spending way too much time, she thought. When she finally takes pity and reaches out to him, it turns out that in return he grants her an equally big kindness.

I liked the weirdness of the “Voices in the Coal Bin”. A husband bring his troubled wife to an old cabin in hope that the holiday stay would ease up her anxieties. But as it turns out, they weren’t us ungrounded as he had thought them to be.

In “The Cape Cod Masquerade” we meet a very likeable couple Alvirah and Willy. They have won lottery and become reach. Now with resources and time on her hands, Alvirah’s outgoing personality doesn’t allow her to stand still. She is more than happy to help their new neighbour prove her innocence after she has served time for killing her stepfather.

In “Definitely a Crime of Passion” a politician is accused of murder. His friend, an ex-president believes his innocence and under a great influence of his young bride, they take it onto themselves to prove it.

“The Man Next Door” is a scary story about a serial killer who has yet another victim in sight. To find out if she will be rescued in time, you must read it yourself. A gripping and suspenseful tale.

I liked the twisted “Haven’t We Met Before?” where a man is attempting to kill a woman claiming that she has hurt him in a past life. Leaves you open mouthed when at the end what has saved her life, has also showed that his claims might not be as insane as we have thought.

“The Funniest Thing Has Been Happening Lately” is shown form a perspective of a woman who is in grave danger from the hands of a man, who has been killing people that he believes are responsible for his daughter death years ago.

In the last story “The Tell-Tell Purr” the main character is plotting how to kill his elderly grandmother in order to get the inheritance. The turn of events was interesting and humoristic.

I don’t come across short crime stories very often, so I recommend the set. 3 bitterjug-Magnifying-Glass bitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glass magnifying glasses, keys or mobile phones from me.


Magnifying glasses, keys or mobile phones rating:

bitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glass – one of the best books I read

bitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glass – charmed

bitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glass – good read

bitterjug-Magnifying-Glassbitterjug-Magnifying-Glass – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

bitterjug-Magnifying-Glass – don’t waste your time



In The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes we meet Ella. She doesn’t socialise. She goes to work and straight back to her apartment. Same routine, every day. Until one evening she gets hit by a van while cycling home. She wakes up in a hospital to be assured by a caring nurse that her husband, Jacob didn’t leave her sight when she was in a coma. He is going to come back soon to take her to their new home. Except she is not married, she is sure of it, or has she forgotten? Has the blow to hear head caused her to loose some memories?

Once she sees him however, Ella knows he isn’t who he claims to be. She is terrified of him, but cannot tell anyone why, not even the friendly nurse. She is on her own and needs to do what he says, she needs to go with him to their new home. This is a moment when the reader thinks, no don’t go with him, there has to be another way. But she he takes her and she complies and then she spends her time trying to figure out a way to escape. To make things more difficult for her, Jacob fills the house with security cameras in order to watch her every move when he isn’t home. Her leg is in a cast and her hand is broken. Nosy neighbours are knocking on their door to welcome them into the neighbourhood. As much as she would like to ask them for help, she knows she cannot. Not only Jacob keeps her trapped inside the house, he is also blackmailing her not to seek escape.
To make things worse, Jacob arrives one evening with a baby that he has snatched from a mother when she wasn’t paying enough attention.
The book he’s its ups and downs. It is suspenseful in places. Frustrating at times. A bit confusing towards the end in relation to Jacob’s real identity.

From me 3 pins SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2, nappies or notebooks.


Pins, nappies or notebooks rating:

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – one of the best books I read

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – charmed

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – good read

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

SafetyPin2 – don’t waste your time

The biggest gift of all times


In all the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle I forgot about my holiday read. Then I found the perfect solution, The Christmas Gift by Monica McInerney. A little gift for 50 cents.

I don’t often reach for short stories but when I do, it’s like opening a box of chocolates. Short stories have to be dosed. They are meant to be had in small quantities due to their full bodied flavour.

The first bite is The Christmas List, where we are introduced to Rosie and Dan and their beloved daughter. Amy falls really ill in her first year of school . She is diagnosed with cancer and her parents fear they may loose her. Her Mum is making Christmas lists, as she was due to host a big family gathering. She doesn’t want to cancel, even though everyone expects her to. She feels that the task of planning the venue is keeping her intact, that otherwise she would crumble to pieces. She painstakingly lists all the festive food items as she waits for the consultant to tell her if the new treatment has worked.

In The holiday it’s actually the summer holiday that the family of four are dreaming of. Sinead and Declan, together with their twin children Ciara and Adam, have been saving money to be able to spend their summer holidays in Spain. However things get tough for them financially, and they end up using their savings for everyday needs. But Grandad has a surprise that may be able to cheer the family up.

Two shorts stories for busy souls who like a winter holiday read.

3 1539465504 15394655041539465504 polar bears, snow flakes or baubles from me.


Polar bears, snow flakes or baubles rating:

15394655041539465504153946550415394655041539465504 – one of the best books I read

1539465504153946550415394655041539465504 – charmed

153946550415394655041539465504 – good read

15394655041539465504 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1539465504 – don’t waste your time


Each year the Christmas time is different from any past ones
and each person’s Christmas is different to another’s.
I hope yours is full of love, as this is the bigger gift of all times.



Irish Book Awards 2018

Irish Book Awards is running its yearly event – to use their own words, “a national campaign which celebrates the value and joy of reading and encourages everyone to pick up more books, more often.”
An Post has become the main sponsor for the next three years.
Titles of the shortlisted books for this year are due to be published on their website on the 25th October at 7 PM. Winners will be selected on the 27th November.