Unsung Heroes: Deconstructing Suicide Through Stories of Triumph by @KristieKnightsK


Unsung Heros suicide book

From the trenches of despair, to the triumph of survival; daily we come into contact with UnSung Heroes. This is a compilation of stories written by heroes who have battled the darkest of their souls, who have battled suicidal thoughts and attempts. They live a life under the stigma of mental illness with no where to turn. Each person rose from the depth of the pain to the joys of living. The mission to eradicate suicide through lifting the stigma is the foundation for this book. Take a journey with 34 courageous authors as you will weep in their pain and rejoice in the victories!

#BookReview - The Food of Love by @MrsAmandaProwse


The Food of Love Amanda Prowse book review

A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.
Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.
But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.
In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.

The Food of Love Amanda Prowse book review

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Blog tour: Inspiration for Semiviral by Jax Anderson


Cage fighter Mathew Stemp is known as a hero to some, a criminal to others, and a legend to all who live in northern Utah. As a cannibal virus spreads internationally, the world is torn between Exterminationists and Curists, and Mathew leaves his prostitution business to repair his relationship with his brother and his God. But his journey becomes even more difficult when he meets Shaylee, the victim of both the virus and his brother’s bullying.  While battling his ongoing depression, Matt fights to protect his friends from his past in SemiViral.

Book Recommendations for fans of #TheMissing


books for fans of the missing John Baptiste

The second season of The Missing finished last night and going by reactions on twitter I think everyone was happy. Personally, I proffered this season over the first one. I know the producers wanted to look at each season from a different angle (loosing a child and finding a child) but I felt this season of The Missing was resolved in a much more satisfying way.

So now, here we are, pining for season three of The Missing with no confirmation as to whether it's going to happen or not. To keep you all happy I've put together a list of books that I think fans of the missing will love, If I've missed a book please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comment section. 

#BookReview Bridget Jones's Baby The Diaries by Helen Fielding


8.45 P.M. Realise there have been so many times in my life when have fantasised about going to a scan with Mark or Daniel: just not both at the same time.

Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget, with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated, however, by a crucial but terribly awkward question – who is the father? Mark Darcy: honourable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notable fuckwit?

9.45 P.M. It’s like they’re two halves of the perfect man, who’ll spend the rest of their lives each wanting to outdo the other one. And now it’s all enacting itself in my stomach.

In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones – global phenomenon and the world’s favourite Singleton – is back with a bump


I am a huge Bridget Jones fan!

I have read every Bridget Jones book and watched every film. 
Helen Fielding has created a character that is relatable, funny and hugely popular. 

Like many readers I enjoyed the books more than I did the film. That is not to belittle the hugely popular films or the brilliant actors; I just enjoyed the books more. When I read Mad About the Boy, I cried and laughed and felt a sense of closure for Bridget and her life. It was a gorgeous read and I loved every page. 
I remember hearing the news that there would be another Bridget Jones film and was intrigued to see how the story would be told. In case you haven’t read the book, I really can’t say much, but for those of you have, you will understand why I was intrigued. 

#BookReview : The Wonder by Emma Donoghue @picadorbooks


the wonder by emma donoghue book review

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels--a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue book review

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Guest Post: A @PugLikePercy by @Fionajourno


A Pug Like Percy book blog tour

Percy is homeless, abandoned by his owner at an animal rescue centre on a cold winter’s night. So when he finds a loving new home with Gail and her family, his deepest wish is that this time, it’s forever.
Gail hopes that Percy will be the little miracle that her family so desperately needs. Her young daughter, Jenny, is in and out of hospital and she’s only just holding things together with her husband, Simon.
With the family at breaking point, and Christmas just around the corner, is Percy the furry friend they’ve all been waiting for?
Full of hope and utterly heartwarming, A Pug Like Percy is the perfect read for fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and Alfie the Doorstep Cat.

#BookReview The Witches of New York by @SideshowAmi @orionbooks


The Witches of New York-book-review

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts(keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.
Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.
As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

The witches of New York book review

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#BookReview The Secret by @TheVenomousPen @AvonBooksUK


Book Review The Secret by Katerina Diamond

Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…
When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?
As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.
And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most.

Short story review: Two Wrongs by Frank Westworth @BookGuild


TWO WRONGS starts with great sex: ends in sudden death. US Navy SEAL Stretch McCann believes he’s met the girl of his dreams. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else; another military man not inclined to suffer rivals lightly. When she’s involved in a crippling car crash, Stretch loses much more than just a lover. He and she have been mightily wronged.
Enter an altogether unusual Englishman, JJ Stoner, covert investigator and occasional assassin. Stoner offers Stretch an opportunity for action. Can Stretch set things straight, no matter what the cost? And why, exactly, have the FBI taken a sudden interest in Stoner?

#BookReview Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


holding up the universe jennifer niven book review

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed 'America's Fattest Teen'. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world - theirs and yours.

Guest Post and Giveaway: A Man With One of Those Faces by @Caimh


The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident. 
The second time was deliberate. 
Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history . . . 
. . . or else they’ll be history.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Order of Succession by @BThompsonBooks @SmithPublicity


One evening in the midst of prime-time programming, networks worldwide interrupt to announce that Air Force Two, a Boeing 747 carrying the Vice President and Secretary of State of the USA, has disappeared after leaving Honolulu, Hawaii on a flight to Hong Kong. An extensive search and rescue effort will soon be underway. 

President William Henry Harrison IV hears the news aboard Air Force One as he flies with his wife and children from the Caribbean to Dallas. The president's plane changes course, heading now to a secure military installation in Florida. 

Then the unthinkable happens. Twenty minutes after the first plane disappeared, Air Force One vanishes too. Its last reported location was over the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea, an area known as the Cayman Trench. These two incidents, now unmistakably part of a single plan, harken back to that terrible morning on 9/11 when one tragic crash became two, then three, and the world realized it was all part of a massive terrorism plot. 

In Washington, Speaker of the House Chambliss T. Parkes, a greedy, vulgar buffoon, is rushed to a secret location as the nation goes to DEFCON 1, the highest threat level, for the first time in history. If the planes are truly gone, Parkes will become President of the United States. 

As financial markets crash, rioters take to the streets and mass hysteria threatens to destroy the framework of free-world government, the CIA must find answers. Were the two most secure aircraft in the world sabotaged? How could it have been anything else? But how could it have happened? Who is behind it and why? 

Brian Sadler, a wealthy adventurer and the missing President's closest friend, becomes part of the mission to uncover a plot with worldwide implications.

#BookReview : A Perfect Girl by @GillyMacmillan @PiatkusBooks


To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey - child genius, musical sensation - is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she's free.
Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life.
By midnight, her mother is dead.
The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance, and a past that she cannot leave behind.

#BookReview : A Falling Friend by @SHUjournalism and @wordfocus @LakewaterPress


After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire – and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.
Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.
A clever, raw and hilarious character-driven masterpiece that follows the lives of two friends with the same ambitions, but who have vastly different ways of achieving them.

#BookReview : Missing, Presumed by @SusieSteiner1


‘Hits the sweet spot between literary and crime fiction – Gripping’ ERIN KELLY
‘For those who love their crime fiction rich in psychology, beautifully written and laced with dark humour. Dive in’ LUCIE WHITEHOUSE
‘DS Manon Bradshaw is a messed-up, big-hearted detective in the best tradition’ HARRIET LANE
Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door.

Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up.

The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?

Guest post and #Giveaway: To Have Not Hold by @mcevoy_carina


Embrace a healthy attitude towards sudden outbursts of laughter; oh and maybe grab some tissues as you escape into the lives of three remarkable friends, as they each navigate their own catastrophic mess. Discover the strength of friendship while you submerge yourself in suspense, fury and humour. Let the drama unfold…

Emma’s doing her best to raise the adorable Amy while hanging on to the ghost of her past. But is she really the crazy, deranged woman she eventually feels compelled to be?

Beneath Siobhan’s picture perfect exterior, the struggle of deception is exhausting. However when life slaps her in the face with an unforeseen twist, will she be able to salvage any of her future, perfect or not?

With mounting money problems and an unwanted visit from his expertly suppressed past, Jack must confront his inner demons for once and for all. Can he defeat them and emerge as the true person he really is?

Guest Post: Mental Health and Inspiration

Thank you depression…..you were my greatest writing influence! 
I allow myself, with a certain amount of pride to feel good as I consider my writing influences. As it is only now when I truly think about it I realise, that among two particular great Irish women writers, I myself am one of my greatest influencers.     No, I’m not egotistical. I’m not self absorbed. In fact, I am the complete opposite. I have battled the demons of self hatred, zero confidence, depression, anxiety, OCD and social phobia. They consumed me for all of my teenage years, they hung around in my twenties and tried their best to keep their dirty claws dug into my flesh in my thirties. But I eventually managed to get the upper hand. I still have depression and anxiety but now I manage them. OCD, self harm and social phobia are long gone thank God. But I truly believe they were a byproduct of my mounting depression. I wouldn’t change my experiences for the world however. I wouldn’t have swapped depression for anything else. Becauce at the end of the day, it became my greatest writing influence and for that I am thankful.  

I first put pen to paper when I was seventeen. I was an emotional wreck, suffering from all of the illnesses mentioned already. I had no idea what I was thinking or what I was doing. My head was in a state of constant anguish and it’s only sense of government was that one cruel dictator. DepressionThough, through the dark tunnel there was indeed that often spoken about light. Depression may have done its absolute best to steer my life into hell, but somehow I managed to every now and then take hold of that wheel and swerve away from the darkness. I was one of the lucky ones.  

Blog tour extract: The Ex Factor by @inkstainsclaire


Is it possible to freecycle love?

Modern dating is hard, especially when all you meet are liars, oddballs, men who wear Superman pants and men who live with their mums.

So why not date someone who already comes pre-approved? Just because your friend’s ex wasn’t right for her doesn’t mean that he won’t be right for you. That’s Marnie’s new plan for herself and her three best friends, perennially single Helen, recently divorced Rosa and cynical lawyer Ani.

Through bad dates and good, the four friends begin to realise that there are advantages to dating pre-screened men…but there can be some serious pitfalls to falling for your friend's ex.

#Bookreview : Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri #crimefiction


In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions a ruthlessly planned escalation that turns out to be merely the visible surface of something far more sinister.
When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman s husband and await his confession.

 But the chief of Rome s major crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed by the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself the Father, Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyperobservant capacities.

All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left telltale signs that signal he s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Colomba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what s really going on is darker than they ever imagined

Blog Tour Extract: Kill me twice by @annasmithauthor @QuercusBooks


A beautiful model's death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour's darkest case to date.

When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn't jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell - alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that's not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets...

Back in Glasgow, Rosie's research into Bella's life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella's early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she's dead.

As Rosie's drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she's about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment..

Extract and Giveaway: #win a copy of Blood and Bone by @vm_giambanco


After two years in the Seattle Police Homicide Unit, Detective Alice Madison seems to have found the kind of peace in her personal and professional life that she has not known before.

When an ordinary burglary turns into a horrific murder she is put in charge of the investigation and finds herself tracking a killer whose pleasure it is to destroy his victims.

The DNA from a single strand of hair leads Madison and her partner Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown to a series of old cases and she realizes that she might be hunting a killer who has been stalking the city for years and whose existence is the stuff of myth in high-security prisons. A killer who might still be at large because Brown made a mistake seven years earlier.

Madison’s own past comes under scrutiny when Internal Affairs officers begin to investigate her and she realises that enemies close to home want her to fail. In the middle of the storm Madison and her partner must hunt down a skillful, determined murderer with a talent for death. And Madison’s private life and fragile peace fall apart.

Book review: Dark Fates and Dark Fates-Madness by @lynnthompson8


Dark Fates and Dark Fates- Madness are two short story compilations that were provided by the author in return for an honest review.

Audiobook review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott @picadorbooks


Katie and her husband Eric have made their daughter Devon the centre of their world. Talented, determined, a rising gymnastics star, Devon is the focus of her parents' lives and the lynchpin of their marriage. There is nothing they wouldn't do for her.

When a violent hit-and-run accident sends shockwaves through their close-knit community, Katie is immediately concerned for her daughter. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That's what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don't realize how much you've sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you . . .

A mother knows best . . . doesn't she?

Plotted with all the brilliance of Dare Me, and written with the compassion of The Fever, the astonishing You Will Know Me - dark and tender by turns -is an unforgettable novel by Megan Abbott.

Book review: Livia Lone by @barryeisler


Published: 25th October 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: ARC from Netgalley

Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them…the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason.

Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison.

Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.

But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. Beyond even being a vigilante. She’ll have to relive the horrors of the past. Take on one of the most powerful men in the US government. And uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil.

In every way, it’s an unfair fight. But Livia has two advantages: her unending love for Nason—

And a lifelong lust for vengeance.

Book Review: Lying in Wait by @lizzienugent @PenguinRandomIE


Published: July 2016

Publisher: Penguin Ireland

Source: ARC from publisher

The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don't plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.

Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart.

But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl's family may be the undoing of his own.

Extract: #Rage by Zygmunt Miłoszewski @AmazonPub


All eyes are on famous prosecutor Teodor Szacki when he investigates a skeleton discovered at a construction site in the idyllic Polish city of Olsztyn. Old bones come as no shock to anyone in this part of Poland, but it turns out these remains are fresh, the flesh chemically removed.

Szacki questions the dead man’s wife, only to be left with a suspicion she’s hiding something. Then another victim surfaces—a violent husband, alive but maimed—giving rise to a theory: someone’s targeting domestic abusers. And as new clues bring the murderer closer to those Szacki holds dear, he begins to understand the terrible rage that drives people to murder.

From acclaimed Polish crime writer Zygmunt Miloszewski comes a gritty, atmospheric page-turner that poses the question, what drives a sane man to kill?


Imagine a child who has to hide from those he loves. He does everything other children do. He makes towers out of building blocks, crashes toy cars together, has his teddy bears hold conversations, and paints houses under a smiling sun. A kid like any other. But fear makes everything look different. The towers never tumble. The car crashes are more like gentle bumps than major collisions. The teddy bears converse in whispers. And the water in the paint jar rapidly turns to dirty gray sludge. The child is afraid to go change the water, and eventually all the paints are smeared with sludge. Every little house, every smiling sun, and every little tree comes out the same nasty black and blue.
Out in the Polish provinces, that’s the color of the Warmian landscape tonight.
The fading December light is too weak to pick out distinct shades. The sky, a wall of trees, a house at the edge of the woods, and a muddy meadow only differ by their depth of blackness. With each passing minute they progressively merge together, until finally the separate elements can no longer be seen.
It’s a monochromatic nocturne, bitterly cold and desolate.
It’s hard to believe that in this lifeless landscape, inside the black house, two people are alive—one of them only just, but the other so sharply and intensely that it’s agonizing. Sweating, panting, deafened by the thudding of his own blood pulsating in his ears, he is trying to overcome the pain in his muscles to finish the job as fast as possible.
He cannot ward off the thought that in the movies it always looks different, and that after the opening credits they should give a warning: “Ladies and gentlemen, be advised that in reality, committing murder demands bestial strength, physical coordination, and above all, perfect fitness. Don’t try this at home.”
Just holding on to the victim is a major feat. The body defends itself against death in all sorts of ways. It’s hard to call it a fight; it’s more like something in between convulsions and an epileptic fit—every muscle tenses, and it’s not at all the way they describe it in novels, where the victim gradually weakens. The nearer the end, the more forcefully the muscle cells try to use the last remnants of oxygen to liberate the body.
Which means you can’t let them have that oxygen, or it’ll start all over again. Which means it’s not enough to just hold on to the victim so they won’t break free; you’ve also got to choke them effectively. And hope the next jolting kick will be the last, and there’ll be no strength left for more.
But the victim seems to have an endless supply of strength. For the killer it’s the opposite—the sharp pain of his overstretched muscles is rising in his arms, his fingers are stiffening, starting to rebel. He can see them slowly slipping, second by second, from the sweat-soaked neck.
He’s sure he can’t do it. But just when he’s about to give up, the body suddenly stops moving in his hands. The victim’s eyes become the eyes of a corpse. He has seen too many of them in his life not to recognize that.
And yet he can’t remove his hands—he goes on strangling the dead body with all his might for a while longer. He knows he’s in the grip of hysteria, but he goes on squeezing, harder and harder, ignoring the pain in his hands and arms. Suddenly the larynx caves in disturbingly under his thumbs. Terrified, he loosens his grip.
He stands back and stares at the corpse lying at his feet. Seconds pass, then minutes. The longer he stands there, the more incapable he is of moving. Finally, he forces himself to pick up his coat from the back of a chair and pulls it over his shoulders. He keeps telling himself that if he doesn’t act quickly, his own corpse will soon be lying beside his victim’s on the floor. He’s surprised it hasn’t happened yet.
But on the other hand, isn’t that Prosecutor Teodor Szacki’s greatest wish right now?

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Book Review: Nothing Tastes as Good by @clairehennessy @HotKeyBooks


Book review of Nothing tastes as good

Published: July 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Bought from shop

Don’t call her a guardian angel. Annabel is dead – but she hasn’t completely gone away. Annabel immediately understands why her first assignment as a ghostly helper is to her old classmate: Julia is fat. And being fat makes you unhappy. Simple, right?

As Annabel shadows Julia’s life in the pressured final year of school, Julia gradually lets Annabel’s voice in, guiding her thoughts towards her body, food and control.

But nothing is as simple as it first seems. Spending time in Julia’s head seems to be having its own effect on Annabel . . . And she knows that once the voices take hold, it’s hard to ignore them.


I don't like Annabel. But that's OK. I don't think we're supposed to. We all have an Annabel inside us. That nagging voice that tells us we're never good enough, never thin enough, never smart enough. We all have our own Annabel in need of silencing.

Annabel doesn't want to be described as a guardian angel. She's more of a spirit guide who's been chosen to guide Julia, a school girl with dreams of becoming a journalist. The only difference is Annabel

From the start Annabel only seems concerned with Julia's physical appearance. She is sure this is why she has been sent to help. To rid this girl of her rolls and curves. And who better to help than a girl who was an expert in hiding. Hiding food, hiding her weight hiding the truth about the illness that killed her. But it's OK. Now she has the chance to make it all OK by "fixing" Julia.

“Boys don't go for fat girls. They talk about wanting 'real women', but what they mean is big tits. Not thighs, not bellies, not fat bums. They want skin and bone.”

Annabel drives her own thoughts into Julia's head. She must be thin. She must say no. That is the only way she can succeed.

“Every time you say ‘no thank you’ to food, you say ‘yes please’ to skinny.”

I like the way Claire handled the many pressures girls face in school: Grades, boys, sex, body image. There is a dangerous misconception that anorexia and bulimia are caused by images in magazines. These issues are mental and the physical manifestations (starving, binging purging) are a result of this. They are not the cause.

I didn't really warm to Annabel at any point, but again I'm not sure if the reader was supposed to. The most important message is that Annabel finally started to realise that Julia's weight problems were not just physical, but mental too. She helps her to overcome her demons and to deal with the people who have wronged her.

The book is not a roller coaster ride. You won't be on the edge of your seat but it will make you sit back and think, and that's never a bad thing.


★★★★ ☆

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