The Busy Mum’s Guide to Murder by Lynn Fraser

The Busy Mum’s Guide to Murder by Lynn Fraser

 

Publisher: Orion cover173676-medium

Publishing Date: 30th September 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 233

Genre: General Fiction (Adults)

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A darkly humorous take on life at the school gates.

Is there anything you wouldn’t do for your children?

Obviously be a parent governor and chair the PTA. But what about slander and manipulation? Dabble in a bit of hit and run? And, if necessary, how about murder?

You think your school run is tough? After her unoriginal husband leaves her for his secretary, Beverley finds herself facing a life she hadn’t planned for. Now a single mum forced to send her children to the failing local primary school, her children’s carefully crafted futures now lie in the hands of incompetent teachers and bullying playground mums.

Desperate to save her children from this situation Beverley sets out to make Harper Hill the best school it can be, but even the best laid plans go awry. Thankfully Beverley isn’t afraid to take matters into her own hands – but how far is she really willing to go to fight for her children’s future?

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Rating:  four-stars

 

Beverley has two lovely children and a husband and ambitious plans for their children’s education. But then her husband leaves her for his secretary and the Emma and Felix, instead of a much better school, have to go to just the usual, not too good educational establishment, Harper Hill Primary.
But Beverley doesn’t give up. If she can’t send the children to better school, then the school must change and so Beverley takes matters in her hands. From starting a PTA and being its head, to becoming a Governor, in the meantime getting rid of a very un – cooperative teacher and school head. Literally.
However, there is someone observing her. Trying to stop her. Will Melanie Hicks, mother of 4 little horrors, be able to hold Beverley off?

I’ll be honest, for a long time I wasn’t sure what to do with this book and with Beverley. It all just seemed a bit too thick, and I felt a bit confused, I really didn’t know what to think. However, the more I read, the more Beverley and the story grew on me, until the point that I thought oh hell, woman, you really are the iron woman. I mean, Beverley was not a likeable character. Oh no. She was uptight, snooty, serious and focused on only one thing, with a superiority complex but really, I eventually started to warm to her and in the end I simply wanted to give her a standing ovation. She was taking no prisoners and when she really got something into her head, there was nothing stopping her – not even a corpse.

I was literally glued to the pages, wanting to know how far Beverley will go and what’s going to happen next/who’s going to die next. I loved the unpredictability of this book, of the fact that I have never known what’s going to happen when I turned the page. The writing style was easy to follow and pleasant to read, the plot complex and full of twists and turns and what is so clever is that you can easily associate some of the characters with some of the people from your own school gate, ha, they were all so brilliantly sharp described! Even though Beverley’s actions sometimes seemed unrealistic, I could easily identify with her urges.

So after the initial reservation, I really started to adore this book. It was full of dark humour and you need to take it with a pinch of salt as the plot IS a bit too far fetched but believe me, you’re quickly going to gulp everything the author puts on the pages. It was original, refreshing and hilarious. Truly recommended!

Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas / Blog Tour

Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas

 

Publisher: Headline 513xdmsnetl._sx323_bo1204203200_

Publishing Date: 12th December 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 336

Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle (available now) | Paperback (out on 12.12.2019)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Wrap up warm and prepare to explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Rating:  four-stars

 

In “Coming Home to Winter Island” we are introduced to Ruby, who is about to get her big break in music business when her voice suddenly disappears. Having arranged a therapeutic break in Tenerife, she gets a mysterious phone call that changes her plans and finds her travelling to a remote Scottish Island to deal with some issues regarding Hector, the grandfather she has never met before. What is going to happen when you put yourself into a mix of remote island, an unknown grandfather, a sitting tenant that is set on disrupting your plans, and gin?

This novel was atmospheric, touching and also light – hearted. There were moments that I would have liked it to be more demanding because some things happened very conventionally and felt a bit too forced for my liking but still, it didn’t spoil the reading at all. I’m also not sure why but it felt a bit different to Jo’s previous books, I can’t put my finger on it, can’t explain why I felt like this, although of course this book had all the things that I was expecting from Thomas’s book. She has – again – easily transported me into characters’ worlds with the gorgeous descriptions and storylines.

 The author touches upon many different issues, such like dementia, local community, family bonds to name only a few, and wonderfully ties them all together, creating a colourful, immersing story. There was never a single moment flat but also the story didn’t feel too full or overwhelming. The descriptions of the Island, and also of some of the past Christmases and all the memories added tons of feelings and emotions and were beautifully interwoven and written in a gentle, subtle way. And I loved the chase after the gin recipe, it was brilliant, I couldn’t wait to get to know all of the ingredients – I had my own favorite for the last ingredient, although it turned out that I was wrong. Oh well.

Ruby’s story was warm and uplifting. It was touching to see her getting to know her grandfather and learn about her family. She was the kind of character that you really quickly fell for, seeing how much she has to deal with, seeing her struggling between what she thinks would be best for a man that she truly doesn’t know, and her consciousness. Throughout the story Ruby grows so much, develops, reassesses her life and what it is she wants to do, and it includes also her relationship with a boyfriend who, to be honest, was awfully controlling and egoistic, seeing Ruby probably as a ticket to a better life and fortune. Then she’s confronted with a huge house that has for sure seen better days, grandfather with dementia and Lachlan, the sitting tenant who refuses to move out. The characters were really well developed, had depth to them and I kept everything crossed for them.

I so liked the interaction and banter between Ruby and Lachlan. They often don’t agree on things and butt heads but deep deep inside Hector’s safety is their main concern. Hector’s subplot was so moving, and as much as I understood Ruby, I was still surprised to see how much time it took her to realise what’s really good for him. The visit in the Home was really heart – breaking.

 “Coming Home to Winter Island” was full of feel – good factor, brilliant characters, wonderful setting and full of surprises. Jo Thomas didn’t disappoint, delivering another book that feels like a warm hug and is going to be a perfect read for a wintry evening. Highly recommended!

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

coming-home-bt-poster-1024x511

Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft

Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft

 

Publisher: Avon 44581165

Publishing Date: 26th September 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 378

Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback  (out on 14.11.2019)

 

 

Synopsis:

This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…

Family means everything to Lily and Zinnia Cortez and, growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.

So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’s always believed. She is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.

Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known – an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a Christmas market or two along the way…

Rating: three-stars

 

Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia have been raised in a family with two mums, however Lily is shocked to discover that her father wasn’t – like Zinnia’s – an anonymous donor but her mum had an affair with a married man. She’s desperate to find her another family and it leads her to Middledip, where her half – brother Harrison Tubb is the owner of the village pub. She starts to work at the pub while also starting her own career as a designer of exhibition stands. She enjoy her life there, and getting to know her brother, even though she hasn’t found the courage to let him know they are family.
This is only one of the themes running through the story. Because of Tubb’s health scare, Lily finds herself working in the pub with a temporary boss Isaac, and almost immediately they’re attracted to each other but Isaac has a rule of not dating co – workers. There is also the Middledip choir which Lily is a part of and they’re travelling to Switzerland to sing at Christmas Fair there. And then there is also Lily’s family, falling apart. Puh.

I had a feeling that the book is repeating itself, over and over again. We were rambling about one and the same thing, the same event was told about again and again, and actually, for me, there was nothing happening. All the characters were too nice to be true, their actions didn’t feel realistic and spontaneous, and the dialogues sounded too wooden for my liking. The lack of action has been filled with descriptions of Switzerland, and as much as I love Switzerland in winter, it was too much, or with Doggo going in or out of his crate, and the main characters didn’t capture my attention. I’m sorry, but that’s the way I feel – but it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to love this book! I hope you will!

Lily and Isaac were nice characters, both with past, both with rules. However, Isaac was too perfect to be true, he always said and did all the right things, he was there when he was needed, he put his own needs aside and the only thing that he missed was probably a white horse. Zinnia was absolutely unlikeable character, already starting with the name, I mean, Zinnia? The way she treated her sister, blaming her for everything was horrible.

Nevertheless, “Let It Snow” was a lovely, steady winter read with a bit of romance and will they/won’t they, though it was not the most important part of the book. The most important part though, me thinks, were family bonds, acceptation, becoming a part of a group and I liked how Sue Moorcroft mixed lightness with the seriousness, and put a lot of care and love into her story. Because next to the whole drama there is turkey, snowballs, carols, a village pub and lots of snow.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

 

Publisher: Bantam Press 43811208._sy475_

Publishing Date: 17th October 2019

Series: Shopaholic #9

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

 

Rating: five-stars

 

In “Christmas Shopaholic” Becky Brandon (neé Bloomwood) is supposed to host Christmas for the first time. It not only throws her into a buying frenzy – as we all know, Becky doesn’t need excuses like Christmas for a shopping – but also put her under tons of stress. She has a big family and a huge bunch of friends who are all invited and all of them are either fighting with each other or have special requests, or suggest what would be best, or there are also people who will try to sabotage Becky’s day. From inventing a new word that goes viral, through marking Luke, having 30 lbs of frozen salmon on the front lawn, to being locked in a pet store on Christmas Day – will Becky manage this time?

“Christmas Shopaholic” is everything I have expected. It’s fabulously entertaining and it has moments when it feels really poignant, and no matter what you think about Becky, how frustrating she can be, she has one of the biggest hearts in the world and it is impossible not to love her. It is a series that has potential to be never – ending and personally I wouldn’t say no to another book, and another, and another one, while theoretically the shtick should be already stale on the series, but no, Becky still entertains and still sounds genuine and her usual self.

There were so many funny and hilarious scenes, and while many of them made me smile, the one when Becky was trying aftershave on Luke made me laugh out loud, oh help, really, I’m still laughing only thinking about it. The emails, messages and Google searches at the end of some chapters were abso – bloody – lutely brilliant, I really laughed my head off when reading them.

I am always amused with Becky’s antics – she never lets me down, and yes, the way she does her shopping sounds very familiar. Sure, she can be too much sometimes but she’s also charming and adorable in her spontaneity and thinking about everybody else, about creating the perfect Christmas and forgetting about herself. She may worry too much what other s think of her and she may still make bad choices when it comes to shopping, but she is warm, caring and lovely mum, friend, sister and daughter.
The book also features all of the other characters that we got to know so well and love, and it was a real joy to see them again, hear their banter and the way they complicated their lives. There were moments that I frown at Suze, she was somehow, I’m not sure, so cold and not so friendly to Becky, and Jess, well, Jess was not funny anymore, oh got, she was exhausting.

It was a fast – paced, amusing and brilliantly written light – hearted book full of festive spirit. I loved spending my time with Becky, seeing her interacting with Luke and Minnie. It was touching, it left me feel warm inside and the end, well, the end was epic! Highly recommended!

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne / Blog Tour

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne

 

Publisher: Headline Review 48142997._sy475_

Publishing Date: 17th October 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 288

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 16.04.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The funny, uplifting second novel from Olivia Beirne for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Katie Marsh, Zoë Folbigg and Marian Keyes.

What would you do if you received a love letter that wasn’t meant for you?

Bea used to feel confident, outgoing and fun, but she’s not sure where that person went.

Over the last few months, she’s found herself becoming reclusive and withdrawn. And despite living with her two best friends, she’s never felt lonelier. To make things worse, she’s become so dependent on her daily routine, she’s started to slip out of everyone else’s.

But when a mysterious battered envelope covered in stars lands on her doormat, Bea wonders if she could find the courage to open it.

It isn’t addressed to her, but it could be… if you squinted…

Rating:   four-stars

 

Bea Smyth works for a local newspaper writing adverts, even though she really wants to write something more important. She lives in a house that she shares with her two best friends, Emma and Priya. She lives her days according to lists and plans, which, of course, leaves little room for anything new and spontaneous. While Emma and Priya have interesting social lives that they share with girlfriend and boyfriend, Bea is quite the opposite – rather withdrawn and happy on her own but constantly worrying that she’s not good enough and feeling that it’s much easier just to agree with everyone than to put herself above others’ needs. One day a letter addressed to “B” arrives. Even though it’s not directed to her, Bea replies that she never intends to sent but it’s somehow posted to Nathan – and so Bea’s double life begins, life that is going to push her into uncomfortable situations but also brings her joy and new people.

I absolutely adored the way the author has written Bea. She felt so real and true to life, with all her angst and uncertainty, and seeing her being pushed out of her comfort zones made me want to give her a standing ovation. She simply feels like a real person, sitting next to you, chatting with you and it’s impossible not to like her. She is quite timid and hates confrontations, but it sounds quite well – known, no? And I wasn’t blaming Bea for being the way she was, because I could see where she was coming from, I was blaming people surrounding her for being so pushy and taking advantage of her. I couldn’t stand Priya who was supposed to be a friend but was so self – absorbed and selfish, expecting Bea to drop everything to be there for her when she needed her but not giving a second thought for Bea’s needs.  

The unexpected letter was for Bea like a lifebelt. I really liked that she followed her instincts, and I admired her for this, knowing how much it must have cost her. The characters she has met forced life into her and, a bit unintentionally, showed her there is world outside, that there is much more to life. She almost immediately fell in love with the nursing home and the three remaining people there, Nina, Gus and Sylvie, and the carer Jakub. Why only three people, I hear you asking. Well, because the home was supposed to be closing in the New Year and other residents have already found different accommodations. At first Bea only sensed a story that she could sell to her boss Duncan but it quickly turned into a real friendship, into much more for Bea, into a thing that she started to care about so much.

 I only had the feeling that the “accidental love letters” were, I don’t know, an afterthought? I was thinking they’re going to be a prominent part of the book, and I thought this part of the story is going to probably be light – hearted and funny, while it turned out that actually they added much more seriousness to the story. They were poignant and actually this what arose from those letters was much more serious in tone. Nevertheless, I was hoping for more when it comes to the letters, and for something different, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t like them, oh no. And it wouldn’t be possible for Bea to change, to find herself without them, so it’s a win – win situation. 

There was quite a number of threads to follow but they were all so very well written and they kept me alerted all the time. I also adored the way the author has captured Bea’s feelings and emotions, her anxiety, getting straight to the core of it, putting into words for us how it really feels. The scenes where Bea was calling her mum, leaving a message and asking to call her back soon made me realised what has happened and broke my heart. She was so lost, felt so alone, her roommates wanted to move out and on and now she was also supposed to lose the new friends from nursing home, where she felt needed, comfortable.

Altogether, it was a fairly light and warm read with a deeper side to it. An uplifting, funny and moving story, very well written, bringing the characters to life, a gentle, charming tale about life altogether, relationships, hope and coming out of your shell. Truly recommended!

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

accidental2blove2bletter2bbt2bposter2b-2

Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley

Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley

 

Publisher: One More Chapter 45175398._sy475_

Publishing Date: 27th September 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 28.11.2019)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

Rating:    four-stars

 

Daisy has just lost her boyfriend, her job and probably her dog. The only thing keeping her sane is the annual Christmas party at Uncle Terrence’s bookstore. She loves these parties, they bring all her favourite people together, and they are in her favourite place, bookstore. However, every single Christmas party, she has to endure hearing of Oliver Cartwright – they grew up together and were best friends for ever, but now they are not as they went their separate ways after Ollie went to university and became a doctor and Daisy… well, Daisy’s dreams of being a vet have never came true. Her mum and Oliver’s mum are best friends but they both love to boast about their children, and Ollie, well, Ollie wins at life, right? But then, after 13 long years, Oliver also comes to the party and oh boy, he’s hot! And lovely, and friendly and soon Daisy finds herself sharing an apartment with him…

As usual, the book is full of brilliant, sharp and witty banter between the characters, especially between Daisy and Oli. I loved their dialogues, they made me smile so often, and it always makes reading so much nicer and lighter. There is a lot of character development in the story but I think that the biggest self – discovery journey was Daisy’s one, she for sure was a totally different person at the end, a person that I liked much more than at the beginning – as I only had a teeny, tiny problem with Daisy, to be honest, as I had a feeling that the author has tried too much with her – to make her too funny, too dramatic, too lost, and this altogether has made her simply too overdone. I liked her, oh my word, I really liked her but because of all these “too” I couldn’t warm to her completely. Also, I am not a biggest fan of creating holly characters, characters who could do no wrong, who are always right and full of wisdom, and so the whole subplot with Uncle Terence, instead of making me weak at the knees, made me roll my eyes a bit.

The read was so engaging that I honestly haven’t spotted the three Christmases. Oops. The writing style so sentimental and light and chatty that I haven’t noticed time is passing by. The author has so easily drawn me into her characters’ lives and worlds that I really didn’t want to leave.
Altogether, it was a fun, witty and heart – warming rom – com, filled with quirky characters, some secrets, embarrassing situations, just what you could expect from this kind of book and from this author. However, it is not only a light – hearted, not too demanding read, it’s full of deeper and more serious moments, and I loved this perfect mix of fun and poignant. It was the perfect Christmas story to start getting you in the festive spirit. Let’s be honest, Zara Stoneley has did it again, she delivered another brilliant read full of great characters, the perfect blend of will they/won’t they, filling the book with a self discovery journey full of secrets, discoveries, friendship, love and stealing dogs. Truly recommended!

The Lying Room by Nicci French

The Lying Room by Nicci French

 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 44182513._sy475_

Publishing Date: 3rd October 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover

| Paperback (out on 02.04.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

*** THE BRAND NEW STANDALONE NOVEL FROM THE MASTER OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE ***

Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn’t call the police.

‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.
But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger.
She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared to go to protect those she loves?
And who does she really know? And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer?

Rating:   three-stars

 

Neve Connolly is a married graphic designer, household’s provider, as her husband does work from home but no money is coming in from him. Between this, work, her three children, lack of money, Neve injects some unexpected thrill into her life by having an affair with her boss. Once she receives a text from him, in which he asks her to meet in his flat. Only, she finds him dead on the floor, most likely killed with a hammer. In her panic to protect her family from the consequences of her infidelity, she cleans – up the flat to remove all traces of her. And then the waiting starts – was she able to eliminate the evidence? Did she forget something? Yes, she did! She left something in the flat but when she comes back, it’s gone – as well as the hammer!

It was a difficult book, I still – after a bit more than a week after finishing it – am not sure how I feel about it. It started really good and I was truly invested in Neve’s life that was a real drudgery and I felt for her and her situation, then the discovery of Saul’s body, but then the story went downhill, with monotonously describing every single detail of Neve’s life in a tad flat style. There was actually not a lot happening, and the whole atmosphere was one of depression and desperation, and the credibility of the story was… rather doubting. I mean, I think that police should really solve the case in a few hours. The characters were also not too likeable, I had troubles to warm to them and it didn’t happen, and I missed more about the whole thing with Mabel. Neve herself was supposed to be incredibly friendly and warm, everyone wanted to be her friend but I never got why – there was actually nothing in her indicating these attributes. The ending of the book, ie. finding the murderer, it also didn’t sit well with me, I don’t know, I had a feeling that the author has simply lost an idea and took this character, out of the blue, to be the killer. No, I didn’t guess who did it, but the final reveal made me go “erm, what? How come?”

I missed emotions in the writing style. It felt so polished and pedantic, with the author paying a great attention to all of the details, to the point that it was too monotonous, but without feelings, very object – focused. The plot development is immaculate and the tangled web of deceit, lies and revenge is neatly interwoven into it but it is simply to clinical.

It was a story full of lies and misunderstandings, with a few turns and twists but it missed the mark for me. This was my first book by Nicci French but I’ve heard so many great fantastic things about her books, and so I thought, here I am for a treat. And at the beginning it was like this – a shocking, captivating start but in the end there was too much that didn’t work me, sadly.