Dead Secret, by Richard Milton
Genre: Paranormal, thriller/mystery
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love paranormal/fantasy reads so started this one eagerly. I never read horror though, or anything approaching it – I’m far too much of a wimp, have nightmares from the tiniest of scary stuff, so when this began to take a darker turn I was a lot more cautious. Those made of stronger stuff will rate this a five, not my four, but for me it was a scare too far. Its done so realistically that for people like me, it’s too easy to believe this scenario could happen…and that’s terrifying. If I’d taken more note of the horror part I’d not have started this.
Anyway there’s Tony,an investigative journalist, trundling along in his job as we all do, when his mum dies. She’s an ordinary suburban housewife so he’s staggered at what he’s been left in her will, a human skull, some strange and very old research papers, and he’s now a trustee of a very wealthy and secret organisation. The more he seeks out, the deeper the secrets go, and for a sceptic like himself, who needs science to back claims, he’s introduced into a world where there are are some pretty astonishing things he learns. I enjoyed the way the reader was taken back to the past, to read it as if it was current time, rather than a telling of history. That kind of action works far better for me, the Show the reader what’s happening and not Tell device. I was holding my breath at times, anxious for what came next.
I liked Tony, liked his approach in seeking the truth but Eve…no – I disliked her from the start. She’s a scary lady, and a very dangerous one. Its hard at first to see how all the different lines tie up – but slowly they knit together and the result is for someone like me – terrifying! Parts of the story are somewhat familiar to me in the way I’m interested in the oddities of history and science, in the study of the human body and how we use it. Its a like palm reading, reflexology, cranial therapy, where practitioners believe in manipulating the skull to cure illness. There are always alternative remedies and thoughts separate from the conventional ones, and sometimes I feel maybe its not that they don’t have scientific backing, but that we just haven’t discovered it yet. Think how electricity was regarded as magic, how back in the days of horse transport a car was unthinkable, how penicillin and painkillers were made from plants purely from observed effects, and not because science showed they work. The downside to being so open minded is the scary part where I feel so much is possible….and thus the nightmares, and why I shy away from anything like this usually….I enjoyed reading it, its a well played out and balanced thriller, with some graphic and dangerous sex scenes, but it’s not one I’d re read. Being scared once is enough for me.
Stars: Four, read with caution if like me you scare easily!
ARC provided by author
The Dating Quiz, L. J. Young
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Book themes seem to go in circles sometimes, and I read another “not dating” one recently – can’t recall the title but the principle was the same and made for a fun read, as this one was too.
Dani – poor Dani, dumped at the cinema. She seemed a fun girl, and has a great set of friends. Work – well, that’s something else….they’re an odd bunch and made me glad I didn’t go into that field. Everyone seems to do everything except their job – apart from Josh, and at least work gets Dani and him to meet, though their first meeting really sets the tone of most of their interactions. Made me smile too – its the kind of thing that would happen to me and I’d babble nonsense much as she did in reaction! He sees the good side of Dani though, the funny and caring person she is, and can’t help but be attracted. He doesn’t date either though – so won’t coin in Dani’s dating quiz where she’s searching for the perfect partner for her friend Susi.
So – as neither are dating and yet get on so well they start…Not Dating. I love the “ I haven’t showered” “ I haven’t brushed my teeth” as they both grab the garlic bread. Not Dating lets them be free to be themselves, and TBH it’s a great premise!! Of course in time they both want a bit more that just Not Dating, and that’s where things trip up. Poor Dani – she was heartbroken – but then Poor Josh, he was too and its catastrophe grown from a simple misunderstanding.
Its a fun read, lots of gentle humour and wry looks at life and I really enjoyed it. It’s not just Dani and Josh though but the great mix of friends that make it such fun, and the way romance crops up where you least expect it. It’s great for a one off for me, though I doubt it’ll be re read, so if you want a simple feel good romance with some real feeling humour this is your book.
Stars: Stars: Four and a half, a straightforward, fun and enjoyable romance
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers