Welcome to my September wrap-up blog post featuring all of the fantastic posts on my blog that I posted during the month of September. September wasn’t a good month for me both blogging wise and dealing with the darkness wise either. I didn’t post anything after the 14th of the month and went dead silent on both my blog and SM, in-fact, this post going live marks my return to my little blog and to SM too, after all, it will post on there too though how active I am on my blog and SM remains to be seen. I could write a lengthy piece where I go on about the state of the world, the worry, the stress, depression and the darkness that live inside, but I don’t really feel like it. I went on a blogging break in February and wrote a post about it when I returned, it was called ‘Where I’ve Been‘ and the link can be found – !!HERE!! A lot of what I wrote in that post is the reason why I went away, again and well, I wrote it once, I don’t see the need to write it again and as we all know, the original is usually far better than the remake. 🙂 I will apologise that I haven’t returned the few comments that I received after I went silent, that I haven’t checked out any of your Music Monday posts and that I haven’t read and liked any of your blogs, reviews and other posts too, I won’t say commented as I rarely comment on blogs and instead lurk with likes. Something had to give, I can’t really take a few weeks off from work and hide away from the world so that thing was blogging, I hope that you have all been managing to stay safe and keep well during these times and I might see you around with a like on your blog posts in the near future.
- August 2020 monthly wrap-up.
- Waiting on Wednesday: Deity (Six Stories #5) by Matt Wesolowski.
- My Thoughts on the Block Editor.
- Waiting on Wednesday: Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons by James Lovegrove.
The story in Snap is a tremendous multi-thread search for the truth about Eileen’s death that is connected and woven together involving Jack, Joy, Merry, Catherine, her husband, the police (I particularly liked the pairing of DCI Marvel, who gets the best lines in the book and his polar opposite DS Reynolds) and other eclectic and well-realised characters.
There are evocative, harrowing scenes and emotions that pull on the heartstrings in Snap. Twists, tension, suspense, grief, loss, humour and unexpected alliances are all on display within the pages too. Jack is a character that you will root for and even my blackened and cold heart thawed at the plight of the poor Bright children, what has happened to them, what they have lost and what they still yearn for.
Snap is a darkly addictive and entertaining page-turner that hits all the right notes.
The story in Fifty-Fifty is told through three main perspectives which are those of Eddie, Kate and ‘she’ with occasional journal entries from Frank Avellino spread throughout. The Eddie and Kate chapters move both their investigations and the trial forwards. The ‘she’ chapters focus on the killer and give you insight into their manipulative and twisted mind and the lengths that they will go to in order to bring their master plan to fruition. But which sister is it? Alexandra or Sofia? That is the conundrum that you are faced with and that you will be constantly trying to figure out. During the ‘she’ chapters there are many clues, hints and breadcrumbs laid out by Cavanagh, the master of misdirection as he toys with his reader leading you on a trail that makes you think that one sister is the murderer. Then you will read mention of something else that piques your attention, alters your perspective and that makes you think that no, you were wrong and it isn’t the sister that you originally thought but the other who is the murderer.
Cavanagh writes with flair and a compulsive and easy to read style that has you gripped to the pages. Fifty-Fifty is cleverly constructed and structured with the multiple perspectives used to keep the levels of tension high throughout keeping you on the edge-of-your-seat and continually guessing as to which of Alexandra or Sofia is the murderer. There are some descriptive passages that have a depth to them and moments of emotion and humour included too along with many intense and dramatic courtroom scenes as the trial unfolds and you see the cross-examinations of the experts, the witnesses and their testimonies as both Eddie and Kate fight to prove that their client is the innocent party.
Starting the story on the day of the fire is very clever and it paints a harrowing and striking picture of the horror and the tragedy that is yet to come. By then taking the story back to before the fire, Fran, her family and the rest of the Ash Mountain residents don’t. They have no idea what is coming, the approaching fiery sea of orange and red that will consume the town and you get to see them going about their normal lives oblivious to what will happen and the fate that will befall them. As the reader, you know what awaits Ash Mountain and you know that not everyone will survive the looming disaster. You know that before the end some of the people who you are reading about will lose their lives to the flames and that is a very powerful feeling to have as you turn the pages.
Ash Mountain is populated by a diverse and eclectic mix of characters who each have their own distinct voice and the characterisation by Fitzgerald is stellar. Some are good, some are bad, you see the best of them, the worst of them and due to that, you see them as human. The arid, barren, desolate, dusty and sweltering setting of Ash Mountain is well realised and vivid. With her writing, Fitzgerald does a phenomenal job of starkly rendering the fire, the oncoming inferno where, like shadows engulfing the light, flames engulf Ash Mountain as the town is transformed into a conflagration. Fitzgerald depicts the horrors, the heat, the smoke, the choking air, the distress, the chaos and the havoc, the helplessness, the panic and the fear that the residents feel in a truly terrifying way. The writing is also full of black humour and you will often find yourself smirking and sniggering. There are poignant moments to be found too, moving moments that are hard-hitting and the story itself is fast-paced and written in a snappy way that is easy to read and highly addictive.
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