Paper Ghosts Julia Heaberlin



I was hooked on this book after I read two of the first paragraphs in the first chapter.

“Old killers who roam free have to land somewhere”


“The Killers who publicly beat the system and the unseen monsters, where do they go”

Have you ever wondered that?

What happens to those serial killers go who don’t get caught?

Where do they go?

Do they just grow tired of what they are doing, get fed up, and just stop?

If it’s a sexually driven crime do they lose the urges?

This is one of the most original stories I have read for many years.

The main character is a woman, she’s in her mid 20’s and her big sister went missing years ago.

Since her sister went missing she has been running an unofficial hunt for whoever took her. As a 12-year-old girl she started building a murder wall on the back of her wardrobe. Building a list of suspects, linking her sister’s disappearance with others, eliminating suspects where she could.

But now, as an adult, she has found the person she thinks is responsible. Carl

Carl is in a home for offenders who have been released and are suffering from dementia. He has been tried and acquitted of one crime, and he claims not to remember anything of the other crimes he is being accused of.

Our girl takes him out of the home, under the false pretence that she is his daughter, and embarks on a road trip to some of the destinations she has identified as places where he took and killed other girls and women.

Will it jog his memory, if he has even lost it.

Is she putting herself in danger, or will she get her answers?

The story of the relationship between the woman and Carl is fascinating. Why do I keep calling her the woman? Because we don’t find out her name for a long time and I don’t want to spoil a cracking story.

Their journey across a map of murder and disappearance is gripping.

There are a lot of questions in this review. There was a lot of questions raised in my head whilst I was reading the book. As far as the story went, all of the questions were answered, and answered in style.

As for the questions the story raised in my mind, well they may never get answered.

In the States who was, or is, the Zodiac Killer and what happened to them.

In the UK Peter Sutcliff was caught purely by chance. Would he have carried on killing, probably. Would he have been caught, maybe. But what if he hadn’t.

I love books that get me thinking, and boy did this book get me thinking.

Pages: 368

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publish Date: 19th April 2018

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Matthew Sullivan



The Bright Ideas Bookstore is more than a book shop. This independent book seller is the home for an eclectic bunch of people, The staff that work there, the customers and the bookfrogs.


It was a new word for me as well, but I think it’s a great name.

What are they? They are the people who populate the store, day-in-day-out, reading books in the comfort of the store, sometimes even buying a book, but only when they’re on special offer. They remind me of the coffee shop Bedouins who populate tables with their laptops making a small coffee last for hours. Some of the Bookfrogs are homeless people looking for shelter, some are lonely singletons who prefer the shop to their empty homes, some are just book lovers.

Each Bookfrog has a story and Joey is no exception. Unfortunately Joey’s story comes to an end when he hangs himself in the store.

But why hang himself there, and why now.

The main protagonist of the book is a 30 year old bookish, bookstore worker Lydia. Lydia is one of the last staff in the store and discovers Joey hanging in a secluded section of the shop just before a late close. Whilst she holds his legs and calls for help she notices a photo sticking out of his pocket. The photo is of Lydia, and her two school friends, at Lydias 10th birthday party.

But Lydia has only known Joey from his visits to the shop, and she has never seen this photo before.

Not many people have known Lydia since she was that 10 year old. In fact there is a very good reason why nobody in her life knows anything about her childhood or her family. Just after the photo was taken Lydia was the only survivor of a gruesome crime and went into hiding with her Dad. The man who committed the crime was never found and has haunted Lydia ever since.

So why has Joey got her picture?

As she starts to look into Joeys life she is astonished to find out that she has “inherited” his belongings. Amongst the belongings are some books which have been cut up. Why would Joey cut up books, they were the only thing that seemed to mean anything to him?

Lydia goes on a journey into her own past and starts to piece together Joeys history. It’s a great journey and makes for a really good story.

I’ve read some of the reviews for this book on Amazon. I have to say they are either neutral or negative. I have to disagree. This is a great book to just pass away the summer afternoon and long evenings.

If you are looking for sex and violence then this book won’t be for you.

If you want to read a book that makes you engage with the characters; that has a slightly socially awkward main protagonist; that has a simple but engaging storyline; this book is for you.

Pages: 336

Publisher: William Heinemann

Published: Available from 24th August 2017.

Available on Amazon to pre-order now

Everything but the Truth Gillian McAllistar


Everything but the truth    Gillian McAllister


This is one of those books that has you shouting at the main protagonist, Rachel, at the top of your voice.

Just like watching a film when the young girl enters the dark lodge, in the middle of the woods, then decides to explore the basement, without a torch.

It’s been a long time since I got so immersed in a story that I shouted out loud, but I did, more than once, in this one.

Rachel is an ex-doctor who is now working as a researcher. She is pregnant and living with the man of her dreams, Jack, the big, bearded, Rugby player from the wilds of Scotland.

She hasn’t known Jack that long but moved in with him after becoming pregnant.

Is Jack too god to be true, Hmmm.

Rachel also suffers from memories, not quite the dreaded flashbacks of many recent books, about a young lad who she diagnosed and treated for cancer. The memories haunt her and she suffers silently as this part of the story unfolds whilst it intertwines with the main thread.

The main thread is one for the psychological thriller fan.

Rachel and Jack are living in Newcastle, where Jack is a journalist. All is going well until one morning Jacks IPad lights up in the middle of the night. Rachel picks it up and reads the message as its displayed on the lock screen. That’s when things begin to change.

Rachel has never visited Jacks Scottish home till this point, but she’s about to.

When she arrives, she realises that she doesn’t really know that much about Jack.

Why do his friends appear to be keeping a secret?

Why does Jack seem to have a nickname which occasionally slips out, but then everybody denies or makes up a bad excuse for?

As Rachel spends more time in the Scottish village the more warry she becomes, what is the secret, or is it just Baby-brain paranoia, because it wouldn’t be the first-time Rachel has fixated on a boyfriend and become paranoid about his behaviour and fidelity.

When in Scotland Rachel and Jack stay with his family, and they’re strange. In fact, everything about Jacks life in Scotland starts to look strange to Rachel.

Starting this book I was looking for reasons as to why Rachel would behave like she does, could she really be that naïve.

Then I went through a stage when I thought, it’s everybody else that’s normal and Rachel is just being paranoid and it’s her with something to hide.

These swings went on all the way to the end. Are we reading through the eyes of a victim, listening to her legitimate worries, or are we reading through the eyes of a paranoid young lady who is being protected from herself by people who care for her?

Is it Jack with the secret, or is it Rachel, or could it be both?

You’ll have to read this book to find out.

Some books can be a bit of bubble-gum for the brain. Some can take your brain for a ride in a tumble drier.

This one will take you for a spin.

If you work out the finish before you get there, well done, I didn’t