Book review: My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

I picked this up because it was written by a Sri Lankan author and I was told had a lot about Sri Lanka in it. What I was not expecting the Sri Lankan parts to be set in what Ratmalana, which is an area I know well. And I wasn’t expecting there to be the little references which felt like a little zing of recognition each time I saw one. I really enjoyed that.

It’s been a long time since I read a thriller. And this is an excellent thriller. It has a properly unreliable narrator, where neither you nor the narrator herself is entirely sure what’s real and what’s not. The story is told with a dual timeline, which works very well. It’s got a nice twist at the end, and really good ending. That’s all I can say without giving away anything – suffice to say, I really liked the ending. I really enjoyed this book. I totally recommend it if you like your thrillers to be twisty.

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Book review: The Fear by C L Taylor (Thriller)

The FearThe Fear by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another brilliant thriller from C L Taylor!
Mike is a paedophile. He groomed Lou from an early age while he was her karate instructor and then he abducted her and took her France when she was 14. The experience has had a profound effect on her and she’s still coming to terms with it as an adult.
When she returns to her home town after fifteen years, she finds that Mike is out of jail and living in the same town. She sees him kiss a teenaged girl and realises that if she doesn’t stop him, he will do to this girl what he did to Lou.
This is an absolutely gripping story, told through three points of view. I read in the space of 24 hours because I had to know how it ended.

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Book review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)Inferno by Dan Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book – Robert Langdon has lost is memory, he has to solve a number of puzzles whilst being chased by people who are trying to kill him… except no one is quite what they seem to be.

It was high action all the way and there was quite a lot of interesting discussion about the population explosion and the limited amount of resources the Earth has. I think, if you’re familiar with Florence, Venica and Istanbul, you’d get a lot out of this book (I’ve only been to two of those places).

All in all, a good fun read. High octane, lots of descriptions of architecture, lots of puzzle solving.

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Book review: The Escape by C L Taylor

The EscapeThe Escape by C.L. Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Someone is threatening Jo’s daughter and Jo will do anything she can to protect her. Honestly, this story is the stuff of every parent’s worst nightmare – the idea of someone taking away your child.
Jo does some extreme things, but you understand precisely why she does them.

There are enough twists and turns and subplots to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It’s totally gripping. I raced through this book in a day… and then I went to check on my kids.

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Inheritance Books: Catherine Ryan Howard

This week’s guest on Inheritance Books is Catherine Ryan Howard – who was primarily known for her non fiction (and her fabulously useful Catherine Caffeinated blog). Her latest book Distress Signals is a thriller set on a cruise ship. Hi Catherine, have a biscuit. Why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin
Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

I live in Dublin, Ireland, but I’m from Cork. I’m currently studying for a BA in English Lit as a mature student in Trinity College Dublin and trying to finish my second thriller before the excitement of the first one, Distress Signals, coming out gets too much for me! I’ve self-published a number of non-fiction titles about some of my travel adventures, and then the obligatory ‘how to’ self-publishing guide. I’ve been blogging since early 2010 and love Twitter. It’s caffeine that flows through my veins and I still want to be a NASA astronaut when I grow up.


Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special? 

I didn’t inherit any physical books, but a book my mother bought for me helped change the course of my life and get me where I am today. Now, don’t laugh, but it’s Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.


The movie came out in the summer of 1993, when I was just eleven, and I convinced her to buy the movie tie-in paperback of it for me. I can still remember that her, my brother and sister and I were en route to the caravan we kept by the seaside in East Cork, and she stopped at a shopping centre so I could run in and pick it up so I’d have it to read while we were down there. I just loved, loved, LOVED that book. The mixture of fact and fiction, the imagination needed to create that park and bring it to life… It was fantastic. It made me want to create something like that. I re-read it every year and still have that 23 year-old paperback, which is only held together now by tape and love.

I’m not laughing. I was totally blown away by Jurassic Park when it came out. So much so that I did my A-level English lit dissertation on it (comparing it to The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle). 


Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?

I think Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s one of my favourite novels. So simple in terms of the language he uses, but so utterly devastating in its impact. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but it also gives you a stark reminder of how short our time here is, and why you should make the most of this great adventure of life while you can. Because of its setting, it also has a kind of timeless quality, so I think future generations will find it as relevant as we do now.


Excellent choices. Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us. All the best with Distress Signals. It sounds great.


Catherine’s new book Distress Signals is available now! You can read the first three chapters on her website. You can find out more about Catherine in her website, Twitter (@cathryanhoward), Facebook or Instagram. 

PS: If you’re a huge fan of Jurassic Park, you might be interested in Chip Kidd’s TEDtalk about how he designed the iconic cover.


Goodreads Book Review: The Lie by C.L. Taylor

The LieThe Lie by C.L. Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading this book on the train on the way to the Romantic Novelists Association Conference. This conference is the highlight of my year (wait, this IS relevant, I promise). By the time I got to my destination, I was most of the way through this book, but I had to put it aside to go and do conferencey socialising type things and all I wanted to do was go find out what happened to Emma and Co!
In the end, I stayed up very, very late so that I could finish it.

This book was thrilling enough to distract me from chocolate and wine and chatting to other romance writers about books. Takes a good book to do that!

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Goodreads Book Review: You Think You Know Me by Clare Chase

You Think You Know MeYou Think You Know Me by Clare Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How well do you REALLY know your friends?
This book follows the heroine, Anna, as she tries to work this one out. She is at a gallery ‘do’ organised by her art-dealer friend Seb to showcase a new artist. Seb sometimes does her a favour and passes her some freelance work. She meets a guy called Max Conran, who isn’t who he says he is. He’s Darrick Farron, who does some sort of mysterious job involving sourcing rare art.

Seb thinks Darrick is shady (and he does seem a bit dodgy, what with the fake names and odd disappearances). But then Seb is a little creepy himself. Who’s a girl to believe?

I honestly did not know who the bad guy was until right at the end. When I found out, it wasn’t who I expected to be! This is a very tense book, which keeps you guessing right to the end. I thought Anna could do with a bit more cynicism in her life. Mind you, she gets so much conflicting information, she’d have been hard pressed to choose anyway.

A good, tense romantic suspense. Well done Clare Chase!

The usual disclaimer for Choc Lit books – we write for the same publisher. I read a lot of Choc Lit books (research, don’t cha know), but I buy them all myself.

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