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The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg.

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The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg.
"She got what she deserved. That hussy was going to come to grief sooner or later."
We are presented with a combination of romance and murder, a lighter version of a Scandi thriller. This is the first book in the series involving Erica Falck the writer and Patrik Hedstrom her lover.
It is set in Fjallbacka, an old fishing village, the hometown of Erica and the scene of a cold-blooded murder where she returns after the tragic death of her parents. She had already published four books and was working on the draft of a fifth one on Selma Lagerlof but was behind schedule because of funeral arrangements and cleaning out the family home. Her Stockholm flat had been sub-let as she planned on remaining at her parents' house for the foreseeable future.
Eilert Berg, a resident had been keeping an eye on the house belonging to Alex Wijkner. He was the one who discovered her lifeless body. He stumbled out in the street and found Erica, the first per…

A Woman Scorned by Christine Smith.

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A Woman Scorned by Christine Smith.
This murder mystery is the third book by local writer Christine Smith set mainly around Mojacar in Almeria, Spain.
"She needed a sanctuary to return from the madness of her career, a safe haven of love and happiness. A place for normality."
Robert Taylor represented that "normality" so desired by Clare White. He was a section leader for the local council, thirty-one years of age leading a mundane life: drinking every Friday night with Jim from work and lunch with his parents on Sundays. Not much of a hell-raiser! A domestic emergency disrupted the Friday routine and as Jim made a hurried exit, Clare White made a dramatic entrance and headed to where Robert was left supping his pint solo. Not a bad substitute, especially one that was beautiful.
"Robert sat mesmerised; she was like some exotic creature, the like of which had never crossed his path before."
Abruptly she disappeared telling Robert she was heading to Nairobi and …

Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel.

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Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel.
"My emotions felt like they had tumbled from a great height, crashing onto sharp, rough rocks below. I started to doubt my own intuitions and judgements and there were some days when I was feeling like an empty shell."
This is a collection of five short stories conveying a message that manipulation can ruin lives. Themes of deception and untrustworthy testaments distort the truth and it results in mayhem. Sophie, the narrator was tall, blonde with green eyes. She epitomises beauty. She worked part-time at a P.R. firm writing literary reviews for women's magazines as a freelancer. The story is set in London with a relaxing break to Brighton. It was when Sophie was visiting her private sports' club that she noticed a small and delicate boy who seemed to have been abandoned sitting in the children's play area.
"He looked like a beautiful, fantastical character who'd walked straight out of a children's picture book."
Sh…

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen.

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Die Again by Tess Gerritsen.
         "The circle of life is also a circle of death."

" Six years ago, in the bush, I found out what it's like to die. Don't ask me to die again?"
For those of you who like gory and gripping thrillers with plenty of action then this is for you. This is Gerritsen's eleventh book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. If you're a Gerritsen fan  then you'll be aware of the hit t.v. series Rizzoli and Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
We  begin with a two week safari in Okavango Delta, Botswana, the experience of a lifetime for a group of seven: Millie Jacobson, one of the narrators with boyfriend and writer Richard Renwick, creator of MI5 hero Jackman Tripp, Sylvia and Vivian from Cape Town, Elliot from America and the Matsunagas from Japan. Unfortunately, Millie has been forced to accompany Richard but it doesn't take long before she feels despondent when she realises that her relationship is dying a death.…

The Casual Vacancy T.V.Drama.

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The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling.
"We are the guardians of something unique. We are the custodians and the stewards of a shining principle. We do not turn our backs and look away from people in need."
The tv drama was written by Sarah Phelps and produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts. Rowling herself was one of four executive producers. Set in what seems an idyllic setting, fictional Pagford turns out to be a village divided between the privileged do-gooders, the hypocrites in society with the trappings of middle-class affluence compared to the working class and their dodgy deals and drug abuse living in the Fields, a council estate on the doorstep of middle England. It might be said that Phelps and Rowling share a passion for social justice which is a myth in "The Casual Vacancy." Don't expect any. The story is heart-breaking. Phelps rewrote the ending which was bleak and too devastating for words. She went in search of a redemptive moment after the tragedy. Just compar…

Tess and Tattoos by H.A.Leuschel. "Manipulated Lives."

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Tess and Tattoos by H.A.Leuschel.
Getting up in the morning "meant facing the same inevitable truth-that all she was really waiting for was death to make its appearance and that, when it did eventually happen, she'd not even know. Dead was dead."
This short story is taken from "Manipulated Lives" a collection of five stories but it can be purchased as an ebook on its own. It's the story of Tess, an 82 year old, living in a serviced apartment for the elderly for three years, sadly waiting to die like many others. The setting provides a degree of tranquility and beauty for the elderly, frail occupants. It is Autumn, symbolic of the end of summer and everything it represents moving towards winter, reflecting the sad tone of a life coming to an end. Home is an attractive 3 storey, red-brick house built to outlast its occupants with "weathered faces and achingbones." We experience the wind howling as someone plays the piano whilst outside the gardeners ar…

A World Without Colour by Bernard Jan.

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A World Without Colour by Bernard Jan.
"Your presence in my life is like a room filled with lamps. When you're gone, the brightest, the prettiest one will go out. And leave behind the half-light of unclear shadows."
You could almost hear John Donne speaking so reverently and adoringly to his lover in endearing terms. Metaphysics. This eulogy is full of love and sadly, a lot of heartache. It is written beautifully in such a poetic style to help us to empathise with the author over a difficult three day period in which his pet died. For animal lovers, attached to their pets it will be easy to identify with the emotional horror of seeing a sick animal dying, being helpless to do anything other than watch the angel of death end his suffering: "I knew I would stay with you until the end, that we would spend life together." It's an emotional outburst. It's just like losing a brother, a close relative you care for and whose loss you mourn.
It began for Marcel, ni…