If you are like us (and probably one of the many thousands of book lovers across the globe) and have had the misfortune of spending your hard-earned cash on an apparent "best-seller"; you will probably also have experienced the dull thud as you bang your head against the wall, thinking "Why did I listen to the reviews on the back?!" The truth is: reviews found on books are usually self-promoting, PR stunt-type hype and not necessarily a true reflection of the books' quality at all.

It is our aim to tell the truth about books, but don't for one second assume that that is synonymous with us creating a blog to 'diss' authors' work - to the contrary - our intention is to provide an honest appraisal of each and every book we read. If the book is any good - it'll get a good review. If it's awful and a tragedy to the literary world - then it won't. It's that simple.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Envy the Dead by Iain McDowall

Sixth in the series featuring police duo Jacobson and Kerr...
Envy the Dead plants you in the troubled era of the Miner’s Strike. It’s 1984 and nineteen-year-old Martin Grove has found himself back near his hometown after hitchhiking away from London. When a beautiful woman stops her MG and offers him a lift – and the prospect of a party and a free place to crash – Martin is only too happy to accept. Claire Oldham is a small-time leader of a local group of activists, intent on promoting their anti-nuclear message via fly poster and protest. Myrtle Cottage is their “base of operations”. A love triangle ensues, a protest goes awry, Claire is unceremoniously murdered and Martin Grove is fitted up by the local plod.....Read the review >>>

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Shark in the Dark by Peter Bently

Pandemonium has broken out on the sea floor as crabs, cod, mackerel and lots of other fish are swimming for their very lives – away from the nasty, terrifying, toothy jaws of a great white shark! It isn’t until they come across a clever squid that makes them work together and put on a united front that the fishes are safe. Funny how even the scariest shark in the whole sea isn’t so big and bold when faced with something bigger than he is.... Read full book review >>>

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

Stone’s fall is a story of such girth that it is entirely conceivable that its readers are open to numerous interpretations of what lies within its pages. Some will believe it to be a parody; a pastiche of current events that have conspired to up heave the delicate balance of global high finance. Some will consider it a rather humorous and benign account of the industrial age, with rose tinted spectacles firmly in place. Others will contemplate the politico stance of the author as one who is astutely observing the sad decent of the British Government to that of being a mere pawn of financial institutions; for instead of telling the City it must put its own house in order, today’s Government has risked billions in a rather fuddled attempt to bolster a failing banking industry that had grown disproportionately due to its all consuming greed and avarice. Yet others will be assuaged by the deeply moving humanitarian elements of Pears’ tale; that of a young woman of some disrepute having the wherewithal and fortitude to recreate herself into someone of considerable wealth and desirability; or perhaps that of a young man whose actions have far reaching consequences that culminate the death and ruin of many poor souls; then again, maybe it is a unique love story, mixed with reproachable behaviour, unscrupulous decisions and having a disastrous and devastating consequence that one will simply not see coming.... Read full book review >>>

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Sign by Raymond Khoury

The best thriller of 2009... probably...

It should have been your standard five minutes about the ice shelf in the Arctic breaking off; it should have been a the usual spiel about the effects of global warming on our polar ice caps and its severe consequences for a large portion of the developed world. Reporter, Grace Logan and her small crew did not anticipate the graveness of the situation – Gracie being a self proclaimed cynic where anything remotely passing for hysterical fervour was concerned and there was nothing more fervent than the posturings of environmentalists. It wasn’t the enormity of the piece of ice that was breaking off that stole the show. Something unspeakable, unimaginable and inexplicable appeared in the skies above them – a cloud of light that seemed to swivel and contort, pulsing with energy and life – a sign. Read more of the book review >>>>

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance

Eye-wateringly fast action and heart-stopping moments of seduction await...

Curse the Dawn in the fourth in the ever popular Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance. Cassie Palmer is an irrepressible and trenchant young woman whose life has been propelled into the limelight of the entire magical world; being the Chief Clairvoyant is not a position to sniff at, nor is becoming the Pythia (an office of extreme political importance that is a lifetime deal). Unfortunately for Cassie, neither the Silver Circle nor its darker counterpart, the Black Circle, seem all that keen on her filling either position and both are hell bent on dislodging her – permanently... Read more of the book review >>>>

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

At The City's Edge by Marcus Sakey

Immediately fogettable police thriller...

Described as “nothing short of brilliant”, Sakey’s latest police thriller clearly aspires to impress its audience, none more so than myself who has a clear penchant for crime novels. It was to my utter despair and incomprehension that At The City’s Edge failed to deliver on many levels.... Read more of the book review >>>>

Education, Edukation, Edukashun by James Rainsford

Parents usually reside in one of two groupings; those that are perceive their children’s education to be of paramount importance and those that see schooling as approximately a six-hour break from their children’s constant demands for attention, money and food. Recognising this, there are also schools that appear to run along similar themes: those that reward academic achievement and good behaviour versus those that babysit their pupils with thinly veiled disdain and dislike. It is almost certain that the more humour set up of the two would be the latter (in both cases) – and so it is that Dave Falconer, nearing retirement age and having the distinctly unrewarding task of attempting to teach unashamedly academically adverse pupils at the welsh secondary school, Gruffud ap Cynan.... Read the full book review >>>>

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Flood and Fang by Marcus Sedgwick

First in the new 'Raven Mysteries'...

It is an unlikely coincidence that Sedgwick chose to name his narrator ‘Edgar’, given that the voice of this children’s book is that of a Raven. And perhaps, the author deemed it fitting that the Raven whose voice of doom is cawed throughout Flood and Fang is named after the illustrious author of an equally doom and gloom poem; that said, Flood and Fang is not all gloom – for there is a certain levity to the dire straits that the Overhand family find themselves in. A peculiar joviality despite the incalculably inhumane explosions of bullfrogs, the gorging on maid servants and the impending drowning of all the inhabitants of the Overhand Castle.... Read the full book review >>>

Monday, 4 May 2009

Problem with Votes

It seems that there are a few old links to our competition lying around the web as we're still getting votes for April's Readers' Choice (and who can blame them, really?!).

It's always best to either come back to this blog and click on the link to the current monthly competition - or indeed - go to the homepage of The Truth About Books first. We don't want people getting annoyed because they aren't entering the right month's competition, nor do we want people wasting their time.

Please make sure you are voting for the current month's competition!

The Littlest Dinosaur's Big Adventure by Michael Foreman

Foreman brings back the Littlest Dinosaur in a new ‘Big Adventure’.

Now that the Littlest Dinosaur is content with his small size, he is happy to play by himself sometimes and take in his exciting surroundings. Despite his small stature, he is open to exploration and discovering new things – and so when a playful frog grabs his attention, he is off! Flipping and flopping, jumping and hopping across the lily pads. On reaching the other side, his adventure continues as he discovers a field full of wild flowers and gorgeous flying insects – butterflies! ... Read the full book review >>>

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Selected Works of T S Spivet by Reif Larsen

The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet is the brainchild of previously unpublished and complete unknown, Reif Larsen and is an elaborately told, illustrated and imagined story of a 12-year-old boy raised on a ranch in Montana who has a phenomenal skill in cartography. With the normal dysfunctional family around him, perhaps what sets him apart is the fact that his brother, Layton, died at a tender age – and in his presence – with a Winchester shot gun. How this affects T. S is a bit of mystery as he refers to the incident almost offhandedly, even going so far as to say that he felt Layton would have liked being drawn by the Coroner as a face with a bullet hole through his forehead. Suffice it to say that T. S is no ordinary 12-year-old boy.... Read full book review >>>>

Friday, 1 May 2009

A Perfect Death by Kate Ellis

A Wesley Peterson murder mystery...

A Perfect Death is set on the premise that the recent brutal killing of a woman in the same field where a Jeanne de Minerve (a thirteenth century Cathar) was transformed into the legendary ‘Burning Bride’ is in some way, connected. Perhaps, the fact that the victim in question was also burnt alive may have been a coincidence too far... Read the rest of the book review >>>

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

The Red Necklace kicks off the latest children's series from Sally Gardner. Set around the time of French Revolution, there is plenty of history, mystery and not a little magic... read the full book review >>>>

Its sequel, The Silver Blade has also been reviewed on our site. Check out that and all our other book reviews!! It might be worth mentioning that if you can't find a review of a particular book - we'd love for you to let us know and we'll see what we can do. Just drop us an email and we'll do our best.

Readers' Choice Winner: Too Close To Home

Congratulations to April's winner: Anna-Marie Donnelly, she has won a copy of Linwood Barclay's latest thriller - Too Close To Home. You can read the book reviews, or if you're more interested in getting your hands on a free book; try entering our monthly book competition (Readers' Choice)!