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This memoir from a forensic scientist and cold case reviewer makes for absolutely fascinating, and rather chilling reading. Jim Fraser has had a 40 year career which has included the cases of Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor. Here he looks at the murder investigations which have been difficult to solve, and cases that remain controversial or unsolved. Bringing his knowledge and personal experience into play helps build a framework of awareness of the challenges faced by investigators. I could tell in the author’s note before I started reading that it is really important to the author that this memoir is not seen as gratuitous (though it is graphic). He is clear that the book “melds recollection with reflection… supplemented with research”. As someone who worked as a member of police staff for twenty years, I found parts made for uncomfortable reading. Jim Fraser is at times damning, highlighting the downfalls of the system. It is quite obvious that with financial restraints, different systems, and human foibles, mistakes will be made, and when a life is at stake it is hard to swallow. Murder Under the Microscope offers a compelling window into a world that most know little about.
Set in Iceland, this novel introduces a new policing team in a tense and unsettling crime novel. Winner of Iceland’s Blackbird Award and translated by prizewinning Victoria Cribb The Creak on the Stairs marks the beginning of a new series. The prologue provokes a sense of unease, which lies in wait through the rest of the tale. Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir gradually introduces more characters, adding more layers of information and increasing the intrigue. We are allowed to see into the past, childhoods torn apart, still affecting the present. The policing team are an interesting bunch, with their outside lives altering their investigating ability. The setting in Iceland is fascinating, the descriptions creating a vivid picture of the reality of living in a small town. The Creak on the Stairs is a captivating tale with plenty of tension and a plot to really get your teeth into.
With short fast-moving chapters this is a piercing and riveting political thriller. Sitting within a time period of just over two weeks, former aid worker Ursula finds herself in deep water when she becomes Minister for the Interior in Iceland. Author Lilja Sigurdardottir and translator Quentin Bates team up again after the successful and fiercely intense Reykjavik Noir trilogy which I absolutely adored. The writing here is just as smart and powerful with dirty politics and corruption leading the charge and an otherwordly feel slinking around in the background. A number of characters are introduced, from Ursula who takes a high-profile role in government, to driver and bodyguard Gunnar, and cleaner Stella. A picture slows builds with a teetering edge of tension remaining in place throughout. I hovered on the edge of knowing and understanding, my focus sharp and waiting for what was to come. In summary, Betrayal is an edge-of-your-seat political thriller just brimming over with attitude.
A new Sherlock Holmes mystery and it's something to celebrate. Robert J Harris takes a fascinating step to the side and we experience London of 1942 where Crimson Jack is murdering women on the same dates as Jack the Ripper. This is very much a “tribute to the Universal Pictures Sherlock Holmes film series starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which brought Holmes and Watson to wartime London” and interestingly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself stated that placing the film in the modern setting “was a daring experiment which has succeeded admirably. Truly genius has no age”. A Study in Crimson (the title a lovely tribute to the original series) slides very nicely into the different time frame, feeling at once familiar and yet different enough to set it on its own path. Holmes and Watson are living together at Baker Street and the explanations as to the differences in time slot together. The mystery motivates Holmes, energises Watson, and leaves Lestrade hanging on their coattails. I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating start to a new series, felt completely at home and look forward to the next!
In a nutshell: auld lang syne with the Spinster Club The end of What’s A Girl Gotta Do saw the three members of the Spinster Club heading off their different ways, now in this special short novel, Holly Bourne reunites them in the pressure cooker of a New Year’s Eve party: how have they coped? We discover that Lottie is planning to move to America, that Amber isn’t enjoying uni life as much as she’s been making out, and that Evie is struggling to support her boyfriend with his anxiety disorder. After an awkward start, they finally have one of those conversations that characterise their friendship, helping each other realise what is best for them, and giving themselves the confidence to go after it. Bourne understands her readership perfectly and writes for them with huge insight and affection, and this is a typically authentic, funny, and inspiring read. Readers will also enjoy Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. ~ Andrea Reece
It seems there’s no end to QI facts or the public fascination for them. Here are another 1339 QI facts, a great gift for the person who has everything or perhaps you need a book for the smallest room or entertainment for friends and relations or even for your own personal enjoyment – warning, it’s addictive reading. ~ Sue BakerLike for Like ReadingQI: The Book of General Ignorance, John Lloyd and John MitchinsonAfterliff. John Lloyd and Jon Canter
It seems there’s no end to QI facts or the public fascination for them. Here are another 1339 QI facts, a great gift for the person who has everything or perhaps you need a book for the smallest room or entertainment for friends and relations or even for your own personal enjoyment – warning, it’s addictive reading. Like for Like ReadingQI: The Book of General Ignorance, John Lloyd and John MitchinsonAfterliff. John Lloyd and Jon Canter
Being a small “instant” humour book there is no bibliography telling you where these facts originate but we now have google so can read up on such things as why Horatio Nelson’s pension continued to be paid to 1947. Harris Hawks standing on each other’s shoulders to get a better view was quite flabbergasting although I was more horrified to read that slugs have about 27,000 teeth. It is, of course, a book designed to entertain and it certainly does that in fine style. ~ Sue BakerLike for Like ReadingFascinating Footnotes from History, Giles MiltonThe Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures, Stephen Pie
1,227 QI Facts blew your socks off. 1,339 QI Facts made your jaw drop. Now the QI team return with this year's groaning sack of astonishment. Prepare to be knocked sideways...Orchids can get jetlag. Lizards can't walk and breathe at the same time. There are 177,147 ways to tie a tie. Ladybird orgasms last for 30 minutes. Traffic lights existed before cars. Sir Bruce Forsyth is four months older than sliced bread. The soil in your garden is 2 million years old.
You are just 10% human. For every one of the cells that make your body, there are nine impostor cells. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but bacteria and fungi. You are not an individual, but a colony of microbes. Far from being passive, the trillions of microbes that live on and in you are intimately involved in running your body. Even aspects that you think of entirely as 'you' turn out to be run by 'them' - like your immune system. In this riveting, shocking and beautifully-written book Alanna Collen explores the modern epidemics of 'Western' diseases - obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, auto-immunity, and even cancer - and argues that most have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes. Antibiotics, antibacterial cleaners, rapidly changing diets and our obsession with hygiene alter the microbe community we carry. Unlike our human cells, though, we can change our microbes for the better.
As the author, Kate Sorrell, is a former associate editor of Homes & Gardens magazine this practical, no-nonsense guide really is ‘straight from the horse's mouth’. Covering the home, garden, workplace and beyond half the fun of this guide is simply to open a page and see where you find yourself - you are practically guaranteed to find out some new useful nugget. Save time, money and re-discover lost skills. I’ve not been able to see a copy of 10,000 Tips in advance so can only advise that the author is a former editor of Homes and Gardens magazine so presumably knows her stuff. The book covers advice on improving life at home, at work, at play and how to cope with sudden problems of anything from health to dicky plumbing - all this packed into 416 pages. Very interesting to compare this to Mrs Beeton which I’ve recommended as a Like for Like read, the changes in household management are both illuminating and a great comment on our changing lives. Like for Like ReadingThe Art of Good Housekeeping, Good HousekeepingMrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton
Willem loves his children but finds them exhausting. Then, one day, he challenges them to find games that require him to lie on the sofa. They have the best day ever! This witty new book features an eclectic range of activities for kids and their dads - and all without the adult's boredom and exhaustion that often accompanies 'child's play'. Written from a personal perspective, Willem gives every activity a suggested age range and provides tips and golden rules along the way. The book includes games for at home, in the car, at the park, in the pool, at the forest - pretty much anywhere where parents and children spend time together. All games are fun for both and relaxing for dads, and none of them require money or preparation. After a long day at work, your children can either finish you off or get you to recover - depending on how you play it.
February 2012 Travel Book of the Month. Presents the 1,000 most astonishing destinations in the world and brings them to life in lively, evocative prose that reveals why the place is so wonderful. This title offers a greater variety of hotel and restaurant choices, including more budget-conscious options. Click here to read a Q & A with Patricia Schultz about this book.
February 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066... It's a light-hearted but impeccably researched account of all our great fallings-out. With Clarke's trademark humour and lightness of touch that will be remembered with fondness from A Year in the Merde and Talk to the Snail, among others this is a brilliant take on the history of our near neighbour.
What would you do if someone bet you they could balance a coin on the edge of a banknote, walk through a postcard, or make you move your limbs through the power of suggestion? Would you take that bet? From Richard Wiseman, the creator of the 350-million-view YouTube phenomenon, Quirkology, comes a thrilling mix of lateral thinking, magic tricks and scintillating science stunts which is sure to appeal to curious minds everywhere.
This tells you all the things you need to know about losing weight – diet and exercise but it also gives you great hints and tips on how to make the most of what you’ve got and how to feel good about yourself even with a few extra pounds. There may not be too much new to learn in here but it reminds you about the important things in life and is written in a very entertaining way.
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eBooks have at last come of age and although you have been able to see if an eBook is available on a title by title basis on Lovereading for a while now, we also wanted to create a special section which features all of our eBook recommended reads.
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