books, reviews

Book Review: Driven – Dane Cobain

This is the first book about private detective James Leipfold and his tech savvy assistant Maile O’Hara.

A young woman is killed by a car, a car that doesn’t appear to have had a driver. So who killed her?

Leipfold is a down at heel gumshoe, picking up this case on a whim, no client needed. Along the way he recruits an “intern” to complement his old school methods with newer ones. But is he going to solve the case or end up a casualty of it?

I wasn’t sure about this at first, while the initial set up was intriguing, it wasn’t until the plot picked up pace and the case began to unravel that I really got into it.

The characters are interesting – I am looking forward to book 2 and hopefully more back story about the team that now comprises Leipfold Detectives, especially computer genius but enigma Maile.

I love the little details like the way Maile and Leipfold complete crosswords without speaking, and Leipfold’s relationship with police detective Jack Cholmondley (pronounced Chumley fyi).

The London setting is of course familiar to me – from the run down cafe, endless miles of Underground and leafy suburbs around its edges.

The author, Dane Cobain, is something of a literary polymath, having written novels, poetry, non-fiction and edited anthologies, although this seems to be his first detective novel.

Driven is available now.

books, reviews

Book Review: Death in Shetland Waters by

Signed on to a tall ship Cass Lynch is sailing from Norway to Ireland as part of a race. Things are about to take a nasty turn and Cass will need to keep her wits about her as there’s a stowaway on board and it could turn deadly.

I didn’t realise this was number 6 in a series but I think you can read it as a stand alone without too much trouble, although there are a few references to previous books.

My favourite characters were easily Cat and Rat, I loved the idea of these two buddies hanging out amidst the human drama.

The setting was also intriguing, the Scottish islands, including Shetland, are fascinating and in my day job I have to know a bit about ships (although not so much tall ships).

I think if you’re after a crime thriller that isn’t Scandi noir but still has clever twists, and is a fairly easy going read, then this book and its predecessors will do the trick.

books, reviews

Book Review: Final Girls – Riley Sager

Firstly we need to talk about this cover – I know it’s not supposed to be important but I love the pink and black aesthetic. That tiny girl fleeing at the bottom is really striking contrasted against the bold white type. It’s very satisfying. 

Quincy is a Final Girl – the lone survivor of a massacre during what should have been a fun weekend in the woods with her friends. 

Sam and Lisa are also Final Girls – a name given to them by the media after surviving brutal killing sprees by dangerous men. All three have taken very different paths to recovery. 

But after Lisa is killed, is Quincy safe? Is she ready to be more than a Final Girl? 

I loved this book, knotty, twisty thriller with flashbacks and a main character whose memory can’t be trusted, who needs to remember to save herself. 

Excellent writing. Just could not put it down. Go and get yourself a copy. Go now, read my blog later. Or you could go follow me on Twitter and win this copy….

books, reviews

Book Review: Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land 


Written by a former Mental Health nurse, this psychological thriller is vivid and arresting. Milly is almost 16 and has lived a terrible life with her mother, a serial killer. Milly was also the one who turned her in. 
Documenting the lead up to her mother’s trial for 9 child murders, we see the world through Milly’s eyes as she tries to adjust to ‘normal’ life with her foster family. 

Her foster father is also her psychotherapist, preparing her for trial, going through the harrowing childhood she endured and the nightmares that haunt her, but is Milly telling him everything, and does the daughter take after the mother? 

Tightly written and with a nice little twist at the end, I really enjoyed this. I think I prefer more knotty thrillers like this, than the straightforward procedural ones. I want unreliable narrators and secrets, I want to never quite know for sure. 

I found this very satisfying a read.