Author Archive > jeffjen

The Girl On The Landing

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The Girl on the Landing By Paul Torday, book reviewYou think you know someone – but you never really do…

Michael and Elizabeth have been married for ten years. Elizabeth has accepted her life with her ‘boring’ but wealthy husband. She kept her job to keep her sanity it would seem and also to retain a sense of normality outside of her husband’s world of visiting Beinn Caorrun, the gloomy house in the Scottish glens near Perth in Scotland which he inherited when his parents died. Michael’s only other interest is his membership of Groucher’s, a club for Gentlemen with its old fashioned rules and regulations. Life with Michael is dull but safe and Elizabeth seems to have settled for that, accompanying Michael on the odd weekend away with fellow golf-playing members of Grouchers and also on trips to Beinn Caorrun, although Elizabeth does not like to visit the old house with its dark rooms and cold bedroom which Michael seems to prefer.


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The Real Me is Thin

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The Real Me is Thin By Arabella Weir, book reviewThe Real Me Is Thin is a biography by actress, comedian and writer, Arabella Weir. Arabella was a regular face on the comedy series ‘The Fast Show’ with Paul Whitehouse, where her catchphrase “Does my bum look big in this?” featured regularly. As well as being a regular on the series ‘Grumpy Old Women’ she has appeared in plays and TV series such as ‘Skins’.

A few years ago I read a previous book of Arabella’s which was named after the aforementioned catchphrase “Does My Bum Look Big In This” and quite enjoyed it, so when I was given a copy of her latest offering, ‘The Real Me Is Thin‘ I was interested in reading it, particularly as this was a biography highlighting her issues with food and eating throughout her life.


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I, Alex Cross

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I, Alex Cross By James PattersonI, Alex Cross, is another crime thriller from James Patterson, featuring Detective Alex Cross whom we were first introduced to in ‘Along Came A Spider’ back in the early 90’s.

In this novel which was first published last year, a member of Alex’s family is murdered and the case catapults Alex into a very dangerous world. A world of power and evil which throws up a shocking revelation.

As Alex is called away from his birthday celebrations with his family and given the tragic news that his niece has been found brutally murdered, he vows to hunt down the killer.


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Gone

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Gone by Lisa Gardner, book reviewAfter reading some good reviews of Lisa Gardner’s novels a few months ago I decided it was about time I acquainted myself with some of her work. I read ‘The Killing Hour‘ whilst away on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It left me keen to read more books by this author, hence me getting my hands on a copy of ‘Gone‘.

I was really surprised on reading the blurb on the cover, to discover that the same characters which featured in ‘The Killing Hour‘ were also featuring in this book, as I had thought Lisa Gardner wrote stand alone novels. Although the characters feature in ‘The Killing Hour‘, you do not need to have read that book to enjoy or understand this one.


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The Killing Hour

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The Killing Hour By Lisa GardnerThe man bent over. ‘Shhhh,’ he whispered in her ear. ‘You don’t want to wake up just yet…’

As the summer temperature in Atlanta soars, the residents have more to fear than just heat exhaustion. For the last three years when the summer temperature creeps up to a hundred, a vicious killer has emerged and taken two young girls. When the body of the first girl is found, it contains clues to lead detectives to the second victim. If the second girl is discovered quickly enough, then there is a chance she will be found alive. However the clock is ticking…


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The Radleys

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The Radleys By Matt HaigSpeaking as someone who cannot find much interest or enthusiasm for the currently popular Twilight/Vampire phenonomen, it seems strange that I found myself reading this new novel about a family of vampires by Matt Haig and perhaps stranger still was the fact that I actually enjoyed reading it!

Meet The Radleys

Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Rowan and Clara, live in an English town. They are an everyday family. Averagely dysfunctional and averagely content. But as Rowan and Clara have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret…

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Repeat It Today With Tears

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Repeat it Today with Tears By (author) Anne PeileSusanna is quite a secretive child, who upon hitting her teenage years, becomes increasingly distanced from life at home with her mother, sister and mother’s boyfriend. She becomes obsessed with her real father whom she has never known and determined to track him down, she finally discovers his address and observes him from a distance, unsure how to approach him. Then when a chance meeting in a pub gives Susanna the chance to finally meet her father, instead of announcing herself as his daughter, Susanna conceals her identity and begins an illicit affair that can only end in disaster.


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Shoedog

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Shoedog (Serpent's Tail Classics) By George PelecanosAlthough Shoedog has recently been published this year as a ‘Serpent’s Tail Classics’ book, it was actually written a good few years ago by the author George Pelecanos, who is also one of the writers on the hit TV series ‘The Wire’.

In Shoedog, we are introduced to Constantine. Brought up in Washington DC, his life has led him to become a drifter with many miles behind him, following his father’s disappointment at him joining the Marine Corps. In the years that followed, Constantine has travelled a lot and had various jobs which never showed up on anyone’s books.


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The Twelfth Day Of July

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The Twelfth Day of July (Puffin Modern Classics) (Paperback) By (author) Joan Lingard
The Twelfth Day Of July was the first in a series of books which became known as the ‘Kevin and Sadie’ stories, as each one followed the lives of Kevin and Sadie as they grew up in Northern Ireland and became adults with children of their own. The quintet set of books are each a riveting read, realistically telling of the difficulties between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, at a time where soldiers walk the streets and shootings and bombings are a regular occurrence.

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One Day

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One Day By David NichollsI recently won a copy of this book and although it is not my usual ‘genre’ it did sound appealing. The words : “You can live your whole life not realising that what you’re looking for is right in front of you” boldly standing out on the back cover got my interest. Also the book begins on a graduation night in Edinburgh in the late 80’s. I was a student at this time, so thought I may be able to relate to the book because of this. It is written by the author of ‘Starter For Ten’ and cites commendations from authors Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons. I figured that if you like those authors, then you may be interested in this book, and after reading it I believe my initial thoughts are correct.

The story begins on 15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew (Em and Dex) are celebrating the night of their graduation in Edinburgh.


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The Earth Hums in B Flat

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The Earth Hums in B Flat By Mari StrachanGwenni Morgan is not quite like any other girl in her small Welsh town in the 1950’s. Aged 12, she is inquisitive, bookish and full of spirit. She can also fly in her sleep and loves playing detective. So when a neighbour mysteriously vanishes and no one seems to be asking the right questions, Gwenni decides to conduct her own investigation to try and find out what has happened to him. She begins questioning the villagers and records everything she sees and hears: but are her deductions correct? What is the real truth? And what will be the consequences of finding out?

Whilst this is not usually the type of book I would choose to read, I did find it held a strange kind of appeal after I read the blurb on the cover. I quickly realised at the beginning of the book that the author, Mari Strachan has managed to enter the mindset of a 12 year old girl in a very convincing manner.


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Prophecy

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Prophecy By Peter JamesNon Omnis Moriar, which translates as “I shall not altogether die.” These words are at the centre of this thriller written by Peter James.

A young boy watches his mother die in a truly horrific accident. Drunk students mess around with a Ouija board in a dark cellar. A sadistic man dies in agony.

Frannie couldn’t be happier when a chance meeting at a train station leads to romance. The fact that her new relationship seems marred by tragedies, she dismissess as coincidence. Feeling happy and in love, Frannie is somewhat blinded to the often gruesome accidents that are happening around her. Eventually however, she is forced to face the reality that these tragedies appear to be linked and that she herself is somehow connected.


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