I am part of a book blog tour! I love these because a) I get to read a book well before publication, and b) well, I get to read a book well before publication.  Initially I wasn’t sent an actual copy of a The House. I was sent an envelope with a set of keys and a clue to unlocking a website….

Once I managed to solve that clue I was sent a copy of this book. It arrived almost perfectly as my holiday to Canada began so into my hand luggage it went. Enter stage left my mum who decided that she wanted to travel to Canada without hand luggage. I don’t know what her plan was – to survive a ten hour flight on wishful thinking and glitter? – but she lasted about three minutes after take-off before asking me if she could read The House. Since I am The Best Daughter In The World, I gave her the book and then spent a sizeable amount of time watching her plough through it, trying not to scream at one more exclamation of shock.

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Sirens was a book recommended to me by a friend. He praised the plot and the characters, telling me only enough to get me interested. So when he offered me his copy I took it and started to read. Sirens is the story of Detective Aidan Waits who after he is caught stealing drugs from evidence is blackmailed into an undercover operation. He spends his nights following The Franchise, a clever gang run by a very interesting man, but when he is asked to help David Rossiter, a very powerful MP, keep tabs on his teenage daughter who is now part of The Franchise everything changes and nothing for the better.

This review is going to be as spoiler free as possible but I will be talking about the plot and the characters – enjoy!

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What is better: to pretend to feel guilt for something you did as a way of coming to terms with what you did or to cheerfully admit that you are a murderer and feel no guilt at all? This was what the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then there Were None eventually boiled down to. Over three nights, as people were being murdered it became less of a whodunit and more of an examination of guilt and the various ways people handle their guilt.

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I have no idea how I hadn’t picket up an Ian Rankin novel before but this is the first one I have read. It isn’t the first his very popular Rebus series – in fact it’s number 15 but that was something I did on purpose wanting to see if I could get into the book without knowing any of the past or backstory.

An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme. Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems: his old police station has closed for business, and his masters want him to retire. But Rebus is stubborn. As he investigates, he must visit an asylum seekers’ detention centre, deal with the sleazy Edinburgh underworld, and maybe even fall in love…

Siobhan meanwhile has problems of her own. A teenager has disappeared and Siobhan must help the family, which means getting close to a convicted rapist. Then there’s the small matter of the two skeletons found buried beneath a cellar floor in Fleshmarket Close. An elaborate stunt – but whose, and for what purpose? And how can it tie to the murder on the housing-scheme known as Knoxland?

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Sophie Hannah has taken one of Agatha Christie’s best loved creations, Hercule Poirot – he of the little grey cells and exquisite moustache – and penned a new mystery for the sleuth. I was both excited and wary about this because can an imitation of a much loved author ever be as good, even if the imitation is done by someone who can write very well? Or with the imitation be nothing but a pale reflection of the original? When the book was released I bought it and I read it.

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