BARLOW’S Book Reviews

WHERE THE DEAD WALK
John Bowen

Kate Bennett may present a paranormal investigation TV show, but she’s not seen much to dent her scepticism, until she’s drawn to a building that holds secrets from her own past. That’s the premise for a book which may look like a standard (albeit brilliantly-written) supernatural thriller, but which turns out to be so much more.
Where the Dead Walk is a masterpiece, a combination of smart, witty writing and a riveting plot that keeps you guessing to the end. It’s gloriously atmospheric where it needs to be, and blessed with some fantastic twists and a pace that builds steadily and effortlessly to a frantic denouement. Meanwhile, a cast of well-defined, genuinely engaging characters draw you in and won’t let you go.
But like the best in its genre, Where the Dead Walk is more about its plot and its characters. Yes, there are spirits and the supernatural, but underpinning it all is a truly perceptive and
beautifully-rendered meditation on the nature of loss and grief, worked so subtly into the plot that far from derailing it, they propel it inevitably on.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes supernatural fiction, but I’d recommend it for anyone who doesn’t, too. A brilliant novel and a sign of a writer at the peak of his craft.

REVENGE
Nigel May

As the weather starts to warm up, if you are looking for a blisteringly hot read for the summer poolside or simply to whisk you off from the normality of everyday life then look no further. Nigel May’s sixth novel is a divine murder mystery cocktail of celebrity, intrigue, thrills, backstabbing and glamour.

Nigel has been called ‘the UK’s male Jackie Collins’ and it’s easy to see why. His novels require page-turning so quickly that you are likely to gain blisters as the action is so plentiful. Revenge is a juicy romp which starts off with a mysterious death in the lush forestation of Brazil and then leaps forward five years to sexy celebrity chef Dexter Franklin as he gets ready to launch his new A-list restaurant in the backstreets of the jet-set capital of Europe, St Tropez.

The list of wannabes wanting to show their faces at his opening night is long, but Dexter is merely concerned that five certain faces are on the guest list. They include a sultry Latina actress, two ex-girlband members who are definitely not up for a reunion and Dexter’s very own nemesis, his rogue brother Leland. As they all sit down to enjoy the launch party, if looks like revenge, revelations and regrets are on the menu.

Spicy and sexy and as wickedly good as blockbuster novels get. Pamper yourself with Revenge.

A FAMILY HOLIDAY
Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne’s writing is warm and welcoming and A Family Holiday is a beautiful and unusual story about love and family which entwines stories of two well-crafted female characters. It centres around Charlie, a nanny who is temporarily in charge of four quirky but loveable children.

When tragedy strikes, Charlie is forced to decide whether it’s time to move on or fight to keep the children she loves.

Part of the story is set in Antigua and the descriptions of the island are so utterly gorgeous that I could almost feel the sand between my toes! I fell in love with these warm and
engaging characters. You root for them all to have a happy ending!

The story has exactly the right balance between humour, sadness, hope and happiness. There are moments where you will be laughing out loud, and others where your heartstrings will be pulled by this extraordinary story.

With a smattering of romance and a wonderful real cast this is an ideal summery beach read, perfect for fans of Katie Forde and Carole Matthews.

A Family Holiday is a fantastic book and an absolute must-read.

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