The Sleepwalker – A Review

The Sleepwalker is the third in the Aidan Waits series of books by Joseph Knox. You may have seen that I have posted about Joseph Knox and his incredibly captivating protagonist in previous posts, a character who has so much hidden in his past but we know very little about. He makes you want to go back for more.

The Sleepwalker

And this book is no exception.  I honestly have to say that the way the book starts, very much sets the whole tone for the rest of the book. There’s a sense of tension building throughout, a feeling that whilst reading, settles in the stomach and makes you on edge about what is to come. Aidan is once again catapulted into an investigation that is complex and has connections to some old familiar faces.  The relationship between Aidan and his new partner, Naomi Black, could have easily have fallen flat but somehow Joseph manages to introduce enough intrigue and tension that makes the dynamic between the two believable. In this book we find Aidan very much looking over his shoulder at enemies from his past, work colleagues, suspects and his new partner.

It’s hard to talk about the plot line of this book without giving away too much but it is much grittier than Knox’s previous work, and dare I say, his best one yet. Once again we see softer aspects to the otherwise mysterious Waits and the way Knox highlights the issue of the Spice epidemic in Manchester and its impact upon homeless people and those incarcerated is particularly hard to read, but incredibly important. It is the moments that take place within Strangeways and an inmate there that made me particularly emotional.  Once again Joseph has penned a masterpiece in Crime Fiction/Crime Noir.  Giving us plenty of drama, intrigue, twists and turns and also moments that will make you wince. This book is not for the faint hearted and the best thing is how he ends it. There’s no way of knowing what will come next, and that is why you should read it.

A rip roaring, page turner and one I highly recommend to those who love a good detective novel, trust me, there are things you will not see coming and they will leave you reeling.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have read it, so comment below. Happy reading!

G.
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The Fall of the Governor – A Review

The Fall of the Governor Part 2 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga.

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This book is part of The Walking Dead canon and follows on where the last one left off. The Governor has been brutally attacked and left for dead by Michonne and along with a few members of the Woodbury residents have escaped the eerie community.

Lily Caul plays a much bigger part in this book, as does Bob Stookey (the town alcoholic) as she steps into the role of town leader whilst The Governor is patched back together by Bob. There’s an unrest in the community and people begin to question where Martinez is and why their leader hasn’t been seen for a while. This being one of the meanest guys of the comic book world he’s not about to turn the other cheek with the attack on him. As soon as he’s back on his feet he rallies the rest of the community and paints the group living in the prison as monsters that should die. He proposes that they strike back and wipe them out in order to preserve their community from future attacks.

The great thing about these books is there’s a lot of depth to the characters, but none more so than Philip Blake aka The Governor. To see how much he has changed from the first book in the canon (The Rise of the Governor) to how he is in this book is incredible. The style of writing is incredibly descriptive  and it’s easy to get sucked into the tense moments of the book, it’s also easy to visualize the ickier moments in the book which for a book that would be classed horror/post apocalypse is just what you need.

Although well written it wasn’t the best in the series and I found that some stuff happened sooner than I expected and the latter chapters seemed to act like convoluted filler.

Star Rating out of 5: 3

‘For a moment, Philip Blake stares down at the old man now lying in a fresh pool of deep-crimson blood next to his son, the puddle spreading, forming wings on the cement, like a Rorschach inkblot test, two angels lying in state, one next to the other – martyrs, sacrificial lambs.’

Happy reading lovelies.

Georgina.

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Book Review – The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks is one of those books that has always been on my list of books ‘I must read’ partly because the title intrigued me and partly because of how often I have heard people refer to it as ‘such a weird book’ So when I embarked upon settling down and reading this, I really didn’t know what to expect, if anything.

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Meet Frank, a sixteen year old who lives in a secluded part of Scotland, and doesn’t technically exist, according the official paperwork. From the first Chapter it is clear to see that Frank isn’t your typical teenager and instead of favouring football and girls, he prefers to make sacrificial poles made from the heads of animals, to ward off intruders.

As the book progresses Frank confesses to how he has killed three people, two boys and a young girl, all members of his family, and all for reasons that, for me, never became fully clear. He describes each murder and how he managed to escape suspicion, despite being present with each of the people when they met their untimely and cruel demise. I think it was perhaps the second and third murder that I found particularly difficult to read, so heads up if you haven’t read it and plan to. You may find yourself recoiling somewhat.

Throughout the book you learn about Franks childhood, his relationship with his father and his ‘crazy’ brother Eric, who also has a dark and dangerous streak and sets fire to dogs (sorry dog lovers, you may not like this book) The setting for the book is perfect, this little bubble of an island with dunes and bunkers and plenty of land where Frank can play out his little macabre hobbies. As the book develops Eric has escaped the hospital where he was being held and is making his way back home, this adds to the tension in the book and helps build up the climax for the latter part.

Frank consults his Wasp Factory for answers to questions – as an aside The Wasp Factory is basically a maze of death for Wasps that Frank captures and kills, with each path resulting in a different death. He keeps being warned by the Factory about a Fire. Again, this adds to the tension being built as events start happening that indicate his brother is getting closer to home. For those of you who like some closure, you do find out what made poor Eric turn ‘mad’ and I think out of the entire novel, this particularly was the most gruesome imagery I came across. Be warned it isn’t for those with a sensitive stomach.

The book climaxes to a pivotal moment when more secrets are exposed and the truth about Frank is revealed, but not in the way you might think. An evocative novel, which is incredibly gothic in its tone. I found the ending a little flat, but overall not a bad read. I’d recommend this to people who want something macabre and for those who like to be entertained by the darker aspects of life.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

Keep your entrails and sticks and dice and books and birds and voices and pendants and all the rest of that crap; I have the Factory, and it’s about now and the future; not the past.

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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