Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Waiting For Doggo by Mark B. Mills

Published by Headline Review in paperback 13th August 2015. My thanks to them and Bookbridgr for my review copy.

No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. 

So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.

My Thoughts: 

I originally picked this book up as I love stories about dogs. Although this wasn't quite the dog story anticipated it was thoroughly entertaining nevertheless. It is actually quite short at just over 200 pages and it made me laugh a lot.

It tells the story of Doggo and Dan and the unexpected turn their lives take when Dan's girlfriend of four years up and leaves, leaving Dan and Doggo who don't really get on, to get on with their lives without her. 

From here on ensues much hilarity as Dan and Doggo try and forge a new life for themselves. Dan gets a new job in advertising and Doggo gets his own sofa in the office. Poignant in places, and equally funny. Both of their antics had me in stitches and my head in my hands.

A story of love and silliness, mistakes and getting over them and sometimes getting even. A joy to read with a warm and engaging cast of characters that had me involved from the very first page. 

If you want to read something quite light hearted and fun, I would definitely recommend this one. 

I defy you not to fall in love with Doggo and Dan too. 

About the Author:

Mark Mills graduated from Cambridge University in 1986. He has written for the screen and is the author of previous novels, The Whaleboat House and The Savage Garden. This is the first novel he has written under the name of Mark B. Mills. He lives near Oxford with his wife and children.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Review: Death by Dangerous ~ Olly Jarvis

This book was published by Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing Limited on 24th June 2015. My thanks to the author for offering me a copy in return for a review.

John Anderson is one of the North West's most dedicated and successful prosecution barristers. His career is going from strength to strength and he is on the verge of becoming Queen's Counsel. But the life he once knew suddenly comes crashing down following a fatal road traffic accident...Recovering from his injuries, he has no memory of the collision.

Was he responsible for the death of a child?

Who was his female passenger?

Facing charges of causing death by dangerous driving, the professional and personal life he once knew now lies in tatters. Depressed and taking refuge in alcohol, Anderson refuses, in the face of so many unanswered questions, to accept his guilt.

He becomes convinced that the gangster he was prosecuting at the time of the crash is in some way involved. The mystery deepens as his search for the truth draws him into Manchester's sordid criminal underworld. Shunned by his former colleagues, Anderson finds help from an unlikely source, enabling him to confront his prejudices and re-evaluate his past life. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, the path for his own redemption...

My Thoughts: 

I jumped at the chance to read this book, when the author contacted me via twitter. The premise of the story drew me in. I knew if it was done well, that it would be a good book. What I hadn't bargained on was the sheer amount of knowledge within the pages and the superb and natural story telling ability of the Author.

It has been a long time since I have read a good courtroom drama/legal thriller. My one reservation was that I might get bogged down with the courtroom scenes, so many times I have picked up a book in this genre and you hardly ever leave the courtroom. I can gladly say that this isn't the case with this one.

I loved the pace and the grit with which the author writes, the scenes unfolding one by one. Chapter by chapter the story rattles on drawing to a conclusion that cannot be guessed. Clever hints and clues, dropped along the way. The right amount amount of Characters to keep you interested and enough intrigue to keep those adrenalin levels at a high.

I wasn't surprised to learn that the author is a Barrister. Although I have no specific knowledge of the legal system, the cross examination scenes are some of the best I have read. The author is clearly a master of his field. I really hope that there is more to come, I could definitely see some scope to develop the character of John Anderson further in the future.

This is a story about right and wrong. It is about who we can trust and who we can't. How we can be let down by those closest to us. I refuse to give anything away about the plot, so I am going to stop there. Suffice to say that I read this book in one go.

Sometimes we just have to be our own heroes. Just for tonight John Anderson is mine.

Highly Recommended.

About the Author:

Olly Jarvis is a writer and criminal defence barrister, originally from London but now working in Manchester. Drawing on his experiences, he writes both fiction and non-fiction with a particular understanding of the pressures and excitement of life in the courtroom. He wrote highly acclaimed Radio 4 drama Judgement, exploring a barrister's thought processes whilst cross-examining a rape victim. Using his knowledge of the Indonesian language, he travelled to Sumatra where he wrote and presented a BBC documentary entitled Mum Knows Best. Olly has two children and lives in Cheshire.