The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws – book review


With only five weeks to go before the end of her secondment to the Royal Gibraltar Police Force, D.S. Tamara Sullivan is enjoying life on the Rock. With one murder investigation successfully under their belts, Sullivan and her commanding officer, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick, settle down to regular police work under the sunny Mediterranean skies.

In London, the British Government has declassified a large number of top secret files regarding British Military Intelligence operations during World War Two. One file, concerning espionage operations on Gibraltar, has been smuggled out of the U.K. to Spain. It contains information that will draw Sullivan and Broderick into the dark and treacherous world of wartime Gibraltar. A place where saboteurs and espionage plots abounded. Where double and triple agents from Britain, Germany and Spain were at war in a treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations.

As the summer heat reaches its zenith in Gibraltar Town, a film crew has arrived on the Rock to shoot a movie about one of the most enigmatic and legendary spies of the war years – ‘The Queen of Diamonds’. Starring Hollywood A-lister Julia Novacs and produced by local born film maker, Gabriel Isolde, it is the talk of the Rock.

It is only a matter of time before past and present collide and a dangerous battle begins to conceal the truth about the Rock’s poisonous wartime history. Detectives Sullivan and Broderick become caught in a tangled web of intrigue and murder that will once again test their skills and working relationship to the very limit. 

Amazon UK


Book 2 in the Sullivan and Broderick Crime Series, and just as good, if not better, than the first The Rock which I raced through!  Saying that, this can be read as a standalone but you do get more out of it if you have read book 1!

We follow on in Gibraltar where Tamara Sullivan is still serving in the police force there after being sent over from London.  And this time they are investigating a mysterious crime centred around a big Hollywood movie that is being filmed there but not all are happy with the choice of topic being portrayed in the film and will go to extraordinary lengths to get their viewpoint across.

We get a great glimpse at the role Gibraltar played in World War Two and how secrets always come back to haunt some and impact those living now.  

Once again there is a great pace with the writing and storyline and it is a very stylish book, with fascinating little sub plots and great interaction between the detectives once more.  

Another really great read and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series!!

The Rock by Robert Daws – book review


The Rock. Gibraltar. 1966.

In a fading colonial house overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. The steel handle of a knife protrudes from her chest, its sharpened tip buried deep within her heart.

The Rock. Present day.

Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on The Rock on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones and she braces herself for a tedious and wasteful twelve weeks in the sun.

After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed sovereignty of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.

It is a talent she shares with her new boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He’s an old-fashioned cop who regards his new colleague with mild disdain.

But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit.

Amazon UK

Urbane Publications


I received this book yesterday morning as part of the Urbane Publications Book Club, and thought I’d give the first couple of chapters a go to see if I’d enjoy it – 150 pages later I’d finished it and had thoroughly enjoyed this sharp, crime novella and am itching to start on book two of the series – The Poisoned Rock!

Set on Gibraltar, we follow Tamara Sullivan who is a detective sent over from London for 3 months and we get a glimpse of what went wrong in London, and how she is thrown straight into the deep end with intriguing cases of what appear to be suicides and they  affect those very closely in the police department. The team she is working with all have great interaction with each other and that really adds to the books appeal.

This book had a great pace about it and also fantastic touches of humour that you could understand that those in the police force need on a daily basis to see them through some of the tougher sights that they witness.  I also enjoyed the way the threads tied in well without being forced or feeling too manufactured.  There was genuine mystery and intrigue trying to work out where the story would end up and I loved the twists and turns!  

Another touch I liked was the imprint of fingerprints on each page! Really added to the enjoyment of reading!

So I made the right decision in picking up this book and love how sometimes something that you don’t expect to grab you does!!  Will definitely be reading The Poisoned Rock next!!

Bookish Weekly Wrap up – Easter special

Hello!!! And Happy Easter from myself and Archie the bunny who is busy on his own kind of Egg hunt in the garden – tracking down my favourite plants and nibbling them before I can stop him!!  Wonder if there are rabbit obedience classes I can sign him up for?!

I hope everyone will be able to put the Easter holidays to good use on the reading front! I have a confession to make this week – it has been an extremely poor week for me on the reading front!  The reading slump has struck and even though I have a ton of wonderful books to get through, my brain has decided to go on strike and creating obstacles for me to do anything and everything BUT read!  Help!!! So I am hoping that a couple of quiet days at home, and some extra chocolate rations, will help inspire me to knuckle down and get my reading groove back on!!

BUT it has been a rather wonderful week for obtaining books and winning stuff!!!  First to the winning stuff part!!  I don’t know if you are aware of the wonderful people at Bookishly who have a wonderful site full of wonderful literary gifts. They also run some wonderful book subscription boxes so I’d highly recommend checking them out, especially if you are looking for literary gifts that are a little bit different.  This month they had an Alice in Wonderland crate which was jam packed with Alice goodies and a lovely edition of Alice in Wonderland.  And in one of the crates they were hiding a white chocolate rabbit and if you were lucky enough to win it then the prize was £150 worth of goodies of your choice from their website….. 

 ooh look who found a white chocolate rabbit!!!!  squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

so once I’d finished squealing over my breakfast and emailing the company my news, I got to enjoy all the lovely goodies that were in the Alice crate!  Made my day I can tell you!!  Alice will now always be even more special to me!!

Books Read

The Body In the Ice by A.J. Mackenzie

This was a really enjoyable read which is part of a series so I’m looking forward to going back and reading the first in the series and to the next due out soonish!

Book Post

The art of obtaining books never seems to be a problem for me and this week has proved that!  First up was  a treat to myself from Big Green Bookshop who had a signing with Scarlett Thomas as she launched her new childrens’ book – any mention of a dragon is enough for me so am really looking forward to this one! Click on the book titles for a link to the GoodReads pages!

 Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas 


 And then this 6 lovely beasts arrived as part of my latest batch of books as part of the Urbane Publications Book Club where they send out every book they publish throughout the year for £99.99.  

The Knowing by David Graham

Electric Souk by Rose McGinty

Imperfection by Ray Clark

Marching on Together by PJ Whiteley

A Monster by Violet by Laura Wake

An Actor’s Life For Me? by Zoe Sullivan


 And the postie was cursing me today with the arrival of 3 books from the publishers for reviewing, all out early May 2017

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins




Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh

Amnesia by Michael Ridpath

It seems I may have a little bit of reading to do eh!!!  Oops!!  So the plan now is to spend the rest of the weekend under a blanket, with numerous cups of tea and the odd bar of chocolate and make a start on some of these and finally get a couple finished that have been loitering on my bedside table  for a while!!  


My bookish week round up!

Happy Friday!!  And another busy week of books for me so will get straight into it as I’m feeling a little ‘bleurgh’ today so my bed is calling me!!


It has been an epic week of book arrivals here! I think my postman is ready to plot my demise!!  In total there has been…..16 books making their way to my slightly overcrowded bookshelves!

On the ARC fronts I’ve received these beauties…

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

 “Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling

Child Taken by Darren Young

How could such a thing happen?

But it did happen.

I wasn’t one of the others, observing.

It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive.

How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

And then I was lucky to win a couple of signed copies of books via competitions on Twitter and these arrived this week too!

 Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell

London 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with thirteen children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty.

Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.

The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed.

Himself by Jess Kidd



When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets. 

And then the latest MothBox subscription box of book delights appeared containing 2 more interesting and fascinating book from smaller publishers


Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth Ruth and her cousin Naomi live in rural Wisconsin, part of an isolated religious community. The girls’ lives are ruled by the rhythms of nature — the harsh winters, the hunting seasons, the harvesting of crops — and by their families’ beliefs. Beneath the surface of this closed, frozen world, hidden dangers lurk.

Then Ruth learns that Naomi harbours a terrible secret. She searches for solace in the mysteries of the natural world: broken fawns, migrating birds, and the strange fish deep beneath the ice. Can the girls’ prayers for deliverance be answered?

Sufficient Grace is a story of lost innocence and the unfailing bond between two young women. It is at once devastating and beautiful, and ultimately transcendent.

The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal  Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike …A mile away in the family home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hit her family …

It is 1981 and Handsworth is teetering on the brink of collapse. Factories are closing, unemployment is high, the National Front are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher’s fractured Britain. The Agarwals are facing their own nightmares but family, pop music, protest, unexpected friendships and a community that refuses to disappear all contribute to easing their personal pain, and that of Handsworth itself.

THE HANDSWORTH TIMES is a story of loss and transition, and pulling together because ultimately, there is such a thing as society.

And then the biggest parcel of book loveliness this past week has been from Urbane Publications.  I signed up at the start of the year and subscribed to their Book Club – where you receive a copy of every book they publish through out the year! So this was the January batch



A lovely mix of  genres to delve into!

A Filthy Habit by Fergus Linnane

Debris by Chris Parker

Release your Wow! by Rennie Gould

Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn – by David John Griffin

Mobile Crocodile by Lotte Moore

Dinosaur Who Ate A Piano by Lotte Moore

Saved by Lotte Moore

The Flying Granny by Lotte Moore

The Teaspoon Family by Lotte Moore


great reads this week so I managed to finish 3 books and still have 2 on the go!

The Breakdown by B.A.Paris

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley 

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Phew! Think that is it!! Another week of more in than out so I need to remedy that situation with some speed reading blasts over the weekend!

Happy Reading!