May Book Review – Dead Star Island by Andrew Shantos.

Dead Star Island by Andrew Shantos.

Dead Star Island

When I was first approached about this book, it really piqued my interest. I liked the idea of well-known superstars who faked their own death to live a life of luxury on ‘Dead Star Island’ away from the press and pressure of life as a celebrity where their every whim was dragged through the press.

When John Lennon is shot dead on the island, the director Christian calls on an old school friend to help solve the murder. Mario Gunzabo was once Greece’s top detectives but when tragedy struck he has let life crumble around him and now passes his time as a tennis coach with a penchant for alcohol. Whilst on the island Gunzabo tries to uncover who the killer may be before they strike again but clearly some of his own issues to work through.

Although well written and at times quite humorous the novel just lacked something. There were moments of unnecessary filler to the story where things were described that I felt didn’t need to be. Also, and I don’t know if this was an age thing, but there were a couple of the superstars who I had trouble recognising. And those I did recognize I felt that their dialogues were somewhat contrived and two dimensional.

As the novel progressed I found Gunzabo’s story more emotional and gripping than anything else, but just like the ending was an anti-climax, so too was the protagonist’s story. There could have been a lot more tension and ‘whodunit’ thrown in considering there were so many characters but it just seemed to lack the promise and page turning abilities I had hoped.

Not a bad debut novel for Andrew Shantos, the level of writing shows great skill but it just lacked that special something to keep me interested for long periods of time.

Honesty is the best policy…

I think one of the best policies to adopt in life is honesty. I’d be lying if I said I’ve been quiet because I’ve been busy reading lots, I haven’t. As much as I love my job it has occupied a lot of my time and life over the past month or so, I’ve even been working from home at weekends in order to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible and that things are getting done a lot sooner than necessary. This has meant that I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to dedicate to reading in the evening or weekends. However as the filming comes to an end on Wednesday my reading regime should become a lot healthier.

As well as trying to stick to the Reading Challenge I have also been reading some titles that have been sent to me for review, not only for this book blog but also Belle About Town, which those more astute readers amongst you will remember is the website I review books for. This has taken precedence over the challenge somewhat, although this irks me slightly, it’s also nice to not feel the pressure of trying to source the book for the next category.

I guess this is a semi apology and also a way in asking for some motivation from my fellow book lovers out there. How do you keep on top of a passion when work and life seem to take over so much? Trust me I have tried to do some reading for at least 30 minutes before bed every night but due to the long hours it’s been hard to keep my eyes open for even a paragraph. At the weekends when I’ve not been working, I have been spending quality time with my husband and also trying to catch up with things that needed doing in the house. Can anyone suggest what I could do to get me back into the swing of reading things? Are there any tried and tested methods that any fans of my bog use that gets them through a book in a matter of days? If so I’d like to hear from you, so why not comment below.

I think one of the nicer things I have done recently included getting the house in order and also my love of books, for months now I have been looking at my bookcase and despairing. It was messy with review books, new books and borrowed books discarded on any spare shelf. So yesterday my husband and I took some time out to clear the bookcase out, polish it, alphabetise and make it look as it was intended to look. If you look at the photo below the left image shows the before, the right image shows the after. Strangely my cousin said she preferred the before, but I much prefer the right. I can see all my books clearly and can easily identify which ones I haven’t read, which ones would be great for my challenge and which ones I need to cover for review.


I have also bought a few new titles, they are;

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (for my Kindle)

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn (this was based on the cover alone – which is part of the reading challenge)

Dead Star Island by Andrew Shantos

I’d love to know what titles you have been buying and enjoying. So please do get in touch. Keep an eye open, I’ll hopefully be posting more reviews soon, until then happy reading fellow bookworms.

Georgina Lane