‘Iliba Uravels’ by Ed Crutchley has a futuristic storyline, where constant surveillance via wristwatches monitor everyone’s interactions, crime is at its lowest levels, and yet we have Detective Inspector Hubert Plon on hand to handle any murders that do arise. As he begins a budding yet secretive relationship, he is called to investigate the murder of a man that had been developing artificial intelligences connected to the country-wide surveillance, Iliba, of his own. This is an interesting dystopian mystery, futuristic in plot but still containing plenty of mystery, action and twists to suit crime fiction fans. The plotline is well written and I found the characters to be well-developed, with each new piece of information taking me down a path I wouldn’t have guessed. With the technology held within the smart watches a lot of us wear today, it’s not difficult to believe that the creation of something like Iliba could be possible and I feel the author did a brilliant job of setting the scene in a way that is uncanny yet highly believable. An interesting mystery with a dystopian twist that I feel would appeal to fans of either genre.
Bad Days in Broadacre is a melodrama with dramatic twists that you won’t be expecting. When Bill moves his family to New England, America in order to work on a new screen-writing project, he would never have predicted what was going to happen. This book doesn’t just focus on Bill and his family, we begin with an insight into a more sinister character and lean more about the townspeople of Broadacre along the way. The author has done a brilliant job creating a town right out of a soap opera, with lots of quirky characters, people keeping secrets, murders and civil disputes with the Broadacre Historical Society to keep the reader interested and entertained if not slightly beguiled about where exactly the plot is headed. I was slightly confused as the book started out, as the synopsis states that Bad Days in Broadacre would follow Bill, A struggling screenwriter recently moved to the USA, however he isn’t the first person we meet, which I found a bit disorientating. I understand that the author wouldn’t want to give too much away, but I think it would be a good idea for the synopsis to be tweaked slightly to reflect the book's wider focus on the town, as well as Bill and his family. As I have said, there are a lot of dramatic turns of events throughout the plot which I found entertaining. This is a plot that requires you to suspend your disbelief and revel in the chaos. I found that the book came together nicely at the end, and all of the questions I had were answered by the final page.
This was an interesting slant on World War 1 and focused on two British captains. Normally we read either accounts of battalions and individual soldiers in some of the famous battles. This story was quite different. Captain Quinn is the new intelligence officer for the 10th (Service) Battalion in France. He’s in temporary charge of the C Company manning the front line in Captain Cody’s absence. Captain Quinn's style of military management is different and the man is downright arrogant. He wants Captain Cody's company and sets about this in a ruthless and devious way, delving into Cody's private life. It is clear on Cody's return to the Front that Quinn has turned things and soldiers around to his thinking he begins to distrust. But Cody is a loose cannon. It is World War 1 and the storyline alone is shocking but the author skillfully throws some extra shockers in as the reader wonders who will survive. I found this book well-written and it offers a different slant on the horrors of the great war. Jane Brown, A LoveReading Ambassador
I did enjoy this book and was intrigued why a procession of men were walking together with their hands round each other's necks. I loved some of the characters trying to find out why and found Alice and Max very believable if a little slow on the uptake. They stayed near the place where one of the 'processions' started and enlisted other people to help them investigate. I find it hard to write a review without giving away the whole plot but I will say it was rather unusual and yet strangely compelling even if a little slow in the middle, it is worth the read though. Carol Peace, A LoveReading Ambassador