Review: Police, Lies and Alibis by John Donoghue

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Published by Matador

 

4 stars

Synopsis:

Discover what REALLY happens in the police.
Is the discovery of a headless corpse the work of a serial killer?
When do police & paramedics fall out?
Who killed Yoda?
What is a Death Fart?
Why do some criminals think they are ‘worth it’?
Who invented the Crying Machine?
How do you beat the burglar?
Why do the police have to pay particular attention to boobs?

Come on patrol with PC Donoghue and get the answers to all these questions and more.

Police, Lies & Alibis is the fascinating and hilarious account of a year in the life of a front line police response officer, and the only humorous police book written by a serving officer who is not hiding his identity. It is the follow-up book to Police, Crime & 999, a book which still remains hugely popular today, with over 250 5-star Amazon reviews, and which garnered positive feedback from a number of national publications:

‘Everything is included in this warts-and-all account. Very funny’
The Sun
‘A treasure trove of a book – a wonderfully informative and addictive read, full of belly laughs’
The Non-Fiction Book Club

WARNING: Contains Humour & Traces of Nuts


 

Goodreads

Amazon


**Thank you to the author for a complimentary copy of this title in exchange for an honest review**

I read the first book in this series of memoirs last month and reviewed it for the Whispering Stories website, I gave it 5 stars and couldn’t wait to read the next!

This book wasn’t quite as humourous as the first, which came as a little bit of a surprise to me but it was still a welcome surprise. The stories and anecdotes in the first book were clearly collected by the author for their comedy value but it’s a pretty obvious truth that police work isn’t all fun and games, this book is a collection of some of the more serious aspects of the job.

Don’t be discouraged though if you’re a fan of the funny – this book is still packed with some truly awful (in a good way) dad jokes and includes an incident involving the brutal assault of giant Yoda and Darth Maul garden ornaments.

 

‘It seems it isn’t just English teachers who are upset about the improper use of the colon.’ – Police, Lies and Alibis 

What it does highlight though is the reality of what a ‘customer complaint’ against an officer can do to their career, and let’s face it – most people aren’t too happy about being arrested, especially if they’re guilty. This is the kind of thing that more decent people should know about, to appreciate the shit that the poor fuzz deal with on a daily basis and how one scumbag calling foul can end an officer’s career.

Donoghue’s writing style has developed nicely since his debut novel and has thrown in some more serious content about what being a police officer is like in a quiet area, his tone is very easy going and feels like you’re listening in on a chat between friends. His caricatures of his colleagues (either that or he works with sitcom characters, either or) are hilarious though I can’t imagine they’re completely flattered by his representation of them!

I’d recommend this book for people who want to get a glimpse of what policing is like in the UK, though I would point out the following things:

  1. This is a rural area rather than a big city
  2. Take it with a pinch of salt, there’s a healthy amount of exaggeration and elaboration in this book!

    Potatoes, Murder, Blood, Police, Search For Clues

‘I once had a cup of decaf by mistake, and felt like I was drinking a cup of lies’ – Police, Lies and Albis (We’ve all been there, my friend.)

 

 

Me, My Hair and I by Elizabeth Benedict

240010995 stars

Synopsis:

Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life. Ask a whole bunch of women about their hair, and you could get a history of the world. Surprising, insightful, frequently funny, and always forthright, the essays in Me, My Hair, and I are reflections and revelations about every aspect of women’s lives from family, race, religion, and motherhood to culture, health, politics, and sexuality.

They take place in African American kitchens, at Hindu Bengali weddings, and inside Hasidic Jewish homes. The conversation is intimate and global at once. Layered into these reminiscences are tributes to influences throughout history: Jackie Kennedy, Lena Horne, Farrah Fawcett, the Grateful Dead, and Botticelli’s Venus.

The long and the short of it is that our hair is our glory—and our nemesis, our history, our self-esteem, our joy, our mortality. Every woman knows that many things in life matter more than hair, but few bring as much pleasure as a really great hairdo.


Goodreads

Amazon


 

I first heard tale of this book while listening to this episode of the Get Booked podcast, offshoot of the Book Riot family. This podcast is one of the best things I’ve started listening to and brings me great joy on a weekly basis.

This book is the ultimate way to tell the stories of women, how we feel about our hair says a lot about our culture, our families and ourselves. By reading this book, I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of other cultures and these women in particular.

Our hair regimes are very personal and asking a woman you don’t know how she achieves her ‘do is like walking up to a stranger on a bus and asking what colour undies they’re wearing. That’s why reading this book feels a little illicit, very bold women are sharing their hair stories and each story varies in content.
The issues dealt with in these stories are HUGE and it shows how our hair really is important, it tells people who we are and what is expected of us.

Each woman who contributed to this novel was very eloquent and had a powerful story to tell, I have to say that I consider each one to be someone well worth reading in the future so I have that to look forward to!

This book is a must read for all women looking to feel a bond of sisterhood with all manner of other women, many parts of the stories are oh-so-familiar and may help shed some light for you as they did me.

 

Woman, Hair Drying, Girl, Female, Person, Attractive

 


My Hair Stories

  1. My first hair story is about THE HAIRCUT.

    In primary school, I’d grown my hair long and down to my waist. It was reasonably thick but very fine and as far as I can tell, pretty easy to manage as  I was a fan of the french braid to keep it out of my face and all of the detritus I seemed to get smeared on my school uniform. However, my mum had decided that it was time for a grownup haircut to see me through the transition to secondary school. By which she meant, get her old school friend to chop off my locks and give me what she insistently called a ‘wedge’ but in fact looked like a mop head. 
    I’m pretty sure I started hyperventilating at one point and both the hairdresser and my mum looked at each other once the deed was done… it wasn’t a good look. Between them or for me.

    We went back to my grandmother’s house where my 10 year old cousin was waiting to issue a verdict. I was very vulnerable at this point and when he finally stopped pointing and laughing long enough to tell me that I looked like a boy, I knew that my life was officially and dramatically over.

    Put it this way, it was *mumblemumble* years ago but I’m still devastated by that horrible ‘do and incredibly glad that only 1 photo seems to exist from that era – though there is one from about 3 years later with some pretty horrendous featherage while it was still growing back in.

    What I learnt from this? If I should ever have a daughter, there will be no dramatic haircuts without her express permission and agreement. It is only hair, but it’s our own hair and part of our identity – we should have total control.

  2. This story is about the HAIR LOSS.

    My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and she went through chemo, suffering every single side effect it had to bestow upon her. The cold treatment they offered to try and keep her hair intact was unpleasant and didn’t do a blessed thing so she thought ‘fuck it’ and shaved off the lot.

    On a side note, she went to the hairdresser with both used at the time to ask for the shave but dear Debbie refused. Because it was too upsetting for her. Suffice it to say that neither of us go there any more. 

    This is why my mum, for all our issues, is my hero. She took control of the situation and got rid of her hair instead of letting it fall out, she didn’t hang around and umm and aah over it, she just got rid.
    Then came the hats to try to cover her head, presumably gifts from various people, but mum doesn’t like wearing hats so ‘fuck it’! She rocked the buzz cut from the start and wore it proudly in public, though I know there were dark moments when she was on her own.

    Not so very long after her diagnosis, I had a breast cancer scare of my very own and naturally one of the things that I did worry about (unnecessarily, thank fuck) was losing my hair to chemo and if I could be as proud and kickass as my mum.

    So, with a clean bill of health on the cancer front, it came as a real kick in the ovaries when I noticed my hair was falling out. In the shower, in my hairbrush, on my pillow and freaking EVERYWHERE – long hair and hoovers are an awful combination too so it was extra traumatic to have to clean out the filter halfway through vacuuming a single room.

    After a few weeks of pretending it wasn’t happening and stubbornly (and so very wisely) refusing to ask Dr Google what could be the problem, the gaps in my ponytail finally convinced me to go see a doctor.

    After blood tests to check my thyroid was doing it’s job properly, it was narrowed down to stress (stress?! STRESS?!! Who’s stressed?!) and iron deficiency – so my medical advice was to take iron supplements and chill the fuck out. Mental Health, Mental Illness, Women, Face, Art, Broken

    I alternately take turns doing both because my memory is crap and stress is one of my full time hobbies and I’m glad to say that after another 6 months it slowed down and grew back in. I haven’t had a haircut in 18 months because I’m too scared that the fuss will cause it to drop out again but eventually I’m going to have to give in – it’s all grown back in at different times and lengths and ‘split’ doesn’t really describe the ends of my hair any more.

 

 

Free on Kindle for this Weekend Only!

ghost light

 

Fiona Corrigan sometimes has difficulty discerning between the reality of stage and real life, especially when it comes to the attentions of her handsome co-star, the dark, brooding, Patrick Berenger.

Before they can depart for Edinburgh for their next performance, Patrick and Fiona’s acting troupe are mysteriously summoned to a remote village in Scotland, in the dead of winter. Once there, although stranded by a massive storm, Fiona is happy that she will finally have the time alone with Patrick that she needs to seduce him.

Unfortunately, Fiona couldn’t have anticipated Sean’s appearance, (Patrick’s equally handsome, drunken cad of an older brother) or his devastating effect on both her and Patrick. Nor could she have anticipated the true purpose of the strange summons by the eccentric landlord, the dark secrets he would reveal in twisted ways, or the identity of the phantom woman who haunted the stage each time the ghost light went dark.

Set in 1920’s Scotland, Ghost Light is equal parts tingling romance and chilling ghost story.


You’ve probably heard me gush about this book before (if you haven’t, you’ll just have to catch up here) , it was brought to my attention on Twitter as a complete unknown and it just ticked all the right boxes for me.

Atmospheric, gothic, classic yet original and just beautifully written. So it’s my utter delight to tell you that for this weekend only it’s available for FREE on Amazon Kindle!!

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

This author is one of my favourite up and comers, I’ve loved both of her books so far and there’s a promise of more to come so it’s time to get up to speed! If you do read this, which I’m clearly recommending, please don’t forget to pop up a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Death of a Kindle

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Quelle horreur! My old Kindle died a death this weekend, it was purchased in 2009 and I suspect that this was probably a long time coming so I tried not to be too upset about its demise. I failed miserably, of course. I f*ing loved that thing!

It kept freezing and forcing me to reset it, only for it to freeze all over again as soon as I reopened the book – after 2 days of trying to rescue it I just bit the bullet and forked out the £50 to buy a new one. Of course the reason it was £50 rather than £60 was because the new model is due out tomorrow! I’m too impatient to wait and too cheap to fork out any extra money so I just went ahead and ordered this Generation 6 beauty. I can’t say that we have an immediate connection but of course, we’ll have to get over our differences and learn to get along!

I didn’t delay in getting a replacement, as I mentioned on Sunday, my TBR list is getting scary and I know that it’s the one purchase that I can always justify to myself. I’ve become a lot closer to my Kindle since starting this blog as it’s the lifeline that keeps me connected to Netgalley, other blogs and authors.

The other thing that I ADORE about the paperwhite is the screen itself, I would never consider going to something with backlighting after this – it’s even easier on the eye than actual books contrast wise. As someone who suffers from chronic migraines, having something that relaxes my eyeballs is nothing short of a miracle.

 

The Ex

 

Old

Pros:

  • Contains hundreds of books
  • Battery life lasts forever
  • Simple, fewer things to go wrong
  • Basic Kindle Store browsing for easy purchases
  • Nostalgia value – I read scientific journals on this baby for my final dissertation.

 

Cons:

  • Sadly deceased
  • Oddly shaped buttons difficult to type at speed
  • Very fragile screen, common in the early generations
  • PDF files are stupidly small

 

The Current

New

Pros:

  • Contains hundreds of books – never been more glad for the amazon cloud
  • Nifty size and shape, easier to hold in one hand
  • Touch screen is pretty sexy
  • More visual display of libraries and collections

Cons:

  • The ads. Freaking hate them, too cheap to pay to get rid of them
  • Not particularly intuitive to use, even with the tutorials
  • Highlighting is pretty hit and miss
  • Demands Wi-Fi access everywhere you go. NO. You will get what you’re given and shut the hell up.
  • PDF files are stupidly small

 

So yeah, my ex was less demanding and I think a part of me will always miss him … but my new one does have the benefit of being alive and much more touch sensitive.

Here’s to many more years with a library in my pocket!

I have to say, I’ve never considered getting a non-Kindle e-reader: I like having all of my books connected to the Amazon Cloud so that I can re-download them in the case of emergency as I did this week. What kind of e-readers do you guys use? Any reviews?

 

 

 

My TBR List is Beginning to Scare Me

There are currently 15 books on my review TBR list and they’re starting to scare me so I’ve pledged to myself not to add any more until I’ve finished a few! There’s no way I’ll stick to that pledge but hey, worth a shot.

I don’t think I have any of the same titles from the last time I posted my TBR list, so I do at least have that to be thankful for! I slowed down a bit on the reading front over the last couple of months while I settled into my new home (more on that soon, it’s GORGEOUS and I’m very proud), so it’s time to knuckle down and get through them!

Slight hitch though, my 2nd Gen Kindle had a massive hissy fit last night and I think I’m having to admit that it’s passed away now. I know it’s ridiculous to get upset about the death of a piece of technology but this little thing has been my lifeline for 6 years now – I know it’s replaceable, mainly because I’ll have to get its successor later on this afternoon, but it’s still devastating.

Technological tragedy aside, here are the titles at the top of my TBR list. They’re at the top because I like to read them semi-chronologically, rather than by personal preference. Have you read any of these books or got anything similar on the go?

Fear Dreams by J.A. Schneider

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Liddy Barron, an artist, was injured in a hit-and-run accident that left her with recurring nightmares, partial amnesia, and an increasing obsession in the disappearance of a coed named Sasha Perry. Was Sasha murdered? Insecure and nervous, Liddy’s turmoil grows as she begins seeing ghostly images. Her husband Paul tries to help but suspects it’s just her imagination…while intuitive Detective Kerri Blasco, also obsessed with young Sasha’s disappearance, senses that Liddy may have a key to solving the case, and tries to unravel the shocking truth of what really haunts her.

 

I’m reviewing this particular title for Whispering Stories ,  I’m 25% in and it is AWESOME.

 

 

Death of a Washington Madame (Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries book #7) by Warren Adler

1686251Washington D.C’s struggling underclass and the U.S. Capitol’s socially prominent and politically aggressive upper strata collide in a horrifying crime. Homicide Detective Fiona FitzGerald once again battles prejudice and privilege to uncover the truth, confronting her own demons while sparring with the violet-eyed movie star wife of a powerful politician determined to erase the sinful secrets of the past. Death of a Washington Madame is the seventh book in Warren Adler’s Fiona FitzGerald series.

This one is for the Warren Adler Book Reviews Reward Club – I’ve also just realised it’s book 7 in the series and I’ve just finished book 2…. FFS!!

 

 

Little Killer A-Z by Howard Odentz

 

 

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Bad things come in small packages . . .
EPIC Award finalist Howard Odentz has penned twenty-six disturbingly fascinating horror stories about the youngest predators among us.
From Andy and Boris to Yuri and Zena, this eclectic anthology is filled, A to Z, with
psychopaths, monsters, and murderers!
So turn on the lights and huddle under your blankets because murder isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Come meet our gallery of little killers.
After all, they’re dying to meet you!

So this is a NetGalley title that I would have chosen exclusively for its cover, I’m just glad that the blurb is really interesting to. Really excited to read this one next!

 

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

27245997Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh, yes please!

Fall of Light by Steven Erikson

Fall of Light (The Kharkanas Trilogy, #2)It is a bitter winter and civil war now ravages Kurald Galain, as Urusander’s Legion prepares to march upon the city of Kharkanas.The rebels’ only opposition lies scattered, bereft of a leader since Anomander’s departure in search of his estranged brother, Andarist. The last brother remaining, Silchas Ruin, rules in Anomander’s stead. He seeks to gather the Houseblades of the Highborn Noble families and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands, but is fast running out of time.

The officers and leaders of Urusander’s Legion, led by Hunn Raal, want the Consort, Draconus, cast aside and Vatha Urusander wedded to Mother Dark, taking his place on a throne at the side of the Living Goddess. But this union will be far more than political, as a sorcerous power has claimed those opposing Mother Dark – given form by the exiled High Priestess Syntara, the Cult of Light rises in answer to Mother Dark and her Children.

Far to the west, an unlikely army has gathered, seeking an enemy without form, in a place none can find, and commanded by a Jaghut driven mad with grief. Hood’s call has been heard, and the long-abandoned city of Omtose Phellack is now home to a rabble of new arrivals. From the south have come Dog-Runners and Jheck warriors. From the Western Sea strange ships have grounded upon the harsh shore, with blue-skinned strangers arriving to offer Hood their swords. And from the North, down from mountain fastnesses and isolated valleys, Toblakai arrive, day and night, to pledge themselves to Hood’s impossible war. Soon, all will set forth – or not at all – under the banners of the living. Soon, weapons will be drawn, with Death itself the enemy.

Beneath the chaos of such events, and spanning the realm and those countless other realms hidden behind its veil, magic now bleeds into the world. Unconstrained, mysterious and savage, the power that is the lifeblood of the Azathanai, K’rul, runs loose and wild. Following its scent, seeking the places of wounding where the sorcery rushes forth, entities both new and ancient are gathering. And they are eager to feed.

Comprehending the terrible risk of his gift of blood, a weakened, dying K’rul sets out, in the company of a lone guardian, to bring order to this newborn sorcery – alas, his choice of potential allies is suspect. In the name of order, K’rul seeks its greatest avowed enemy.

 F* me, that’s a long synopsis…. I should have taken it as a sign of how long and involved this book was going to be. It’s 837 pages of epic battle and politics, I’ve already read about 5% but I’m a book monogamist and don’t like reading other books at the same time so I’ve put it on hold until I can sit and dedicate the time to get it done in one go.

Review: Pieces (Patchworks book #1) by T. Aleo

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Published by Toni Aleo Books LLC

4 stars

Synopsis:

In New York City, an underground society of supernatural beings exists, hidden among everyday humans. They don’t know of our activities or any of our secrets.

The districts of the Works are made up of vampires, wolves, shifters, witches, and I’m in the fifth and arguably most important district, the Patchwork. My father is the leader of our group, and he oversees all of the other factions.

As his only daughter, that makes me the princess of it all. Cool, right? Actually…no.
Sure, I live in a mansion and money isn’t an object, but that doesn’t matter because I can’t leave. I have a guard who follows me around 24/7. My father and three older brothers treat me like I’m a fragile piece of glass, never allowed to take an independent step or make any decisions on my own.
It’s beyond frustrating—especially since my father essentially runs my life.
He says what I do, when I do it, how I do it, and all that jazz. He tests his formulas and new techniques on me. I’m a walking science experiment.
I hate it.
I hate my life here.

But then he comes along: Killian.
He’s just some vampire…or so I thought.

But you’ll have to read my story to find out what I mean. To know my secrets.
Until then, though, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rebecca von Stein.
And I’m a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein.

Welcome to the Works.


Goodreads

Amazon


**Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Here’s yet another book that I picked based on the cover, it’s so striking and does an amazing job of preparing you for the story within.

Rebecca is a patchwork girl, ‘upgraded’ with human body parts by her father to prolong her life. Despite the fact she’s so different, she’s still a teenage girl – she’s witty, big-hearted and not prepared to take any shit.
The author gives Rebecca a modern and sassy voice, using just the right amount of teen speak so that the older and grumpier of us aren’t driven insane (I’m only 26 but I’m definitely on the grumpier end of the spectrum).

Rebecca is a fantastic main character and very easy to like, she has all of the good qualities you’d look for in a teen heroine but also the flaws necessary to keep her real  – she’s stubborn, grumpy (knew there was a reason I loved her) and tends to act first and think afterwards.
The one thing I loved the most about her was her love for her family, in this case they aren’t the typical family characters who are standing in the way of her and what she wants. She’s loyal to them and cares for them deeply, with a different type of bond with each of her brothers and father. However, familial love or not, she knows that she’ll have to cross them to lead the type of life she wants to lead.

There is quite a bit of romance in this book, but of a slightly YA cutesy yet all encompassing version though there is a quickie in a bathroom at one point…
Love between clans is forbidden, so clearly she bestows her heart upon a hottie from another faction!

The clans are really interesting, you have your obligatory vampires and werewolves, shifters and witches which are an optional extra and then the most original one – the patchwork. These are immortals who are stitched together with ‘donor’ parts, the Frankenstein’s monster faction which isn’t something I’ve seen in my pretty extensive travels through paranormal novels.

This book was great fun to read, I couldn’t get enough of Rebecca’s voice! The characters are very well developed within the confines of the mysteries this series holds, their relationships are well defined and varied which I enjoyed. Aleo’s writing style is so compelling, I finished this book in one hit.

If you’re a fan of paranormal romance and fantasy, especially the kind which breaks the mold – this is a series to get started on.