Monday, 25 August 2014

Swamp Bones by Kathy Reichs

UK Cover
Swamp Bones is a straight to digital Temperance Brennan short story by Kathy Reichs.

The occasional interim novellas are a great way to whet the appetite for the release of future novels.

In that respect the Brennan books by Kathy Reichs are no exception.

Swamp Bones is a quick delectable morsel of the crime series.

For a novella length story it manages to pack quite a punch and a lot of interesting facts at the same time.

For instance the plague of Burmese pythons in Florida. The Burmese python has adapted to its new habitat and is thriving. It is responsible for the declining numbers of native mammals in the Everglades. They are an endangered species in their natural habitat, because of the decline in their numbers due to poaching.

US Cover
Of course that makes the large number of them in the Everglades even more ironic. They have to be culled to keep the number local species in Florida from becoming extinct, and yet it is illegal to capture or kill them to use their skins.

People really should think twice about buying exotic pets, which then outgrow the owners capabilities and houses, really quickly.

They in turn think letting those pets free in the wild, and I say wild with the complete irony it deserves, is doing the animals a favour.

The crime is discovered by accident by Tempe Brennan, just the right person at the right moment in time kind of thing.

Human bones where there aren't supposed to be any at all. Not much, just a smidgen of bone and Tempe is wading through swamps to find the rest that should be attached to the smidgen. You sort of need a least a bit of a body to be able to find a cause of death.

It is an invigorating and witty read. Just enough to keep a reader going till the release of  Bones Never Lie.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of  Penguin Random House UK.

At the end of this book readers get a chance to read the first few chapters of the upcoming new Kathy Reichs novel Bones Never Lie.

Buy Swamp Bones at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read The Bone CollectionBones Never LieSpeaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs.

Read Exposure by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs.

Read Two Nights by Kathy Reichs.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The novella Dangerous Dream is the prequel to this new instalment of the Beautiful Creatures series, Dangerous Creatures.

It is suitably sassy, adorably adept and torturously teeny. Aside from the occasional innuendo it is also suitable for younger readers. At times it lacks substance and is filled with a lot of candy floss fluff dialogue and moments.

Can I see why the series is so popular? Yup, it ticks all the boxes for teens. Cutie-pie boys, mysterious dark strangers, good girls, bad girls and the inevitable very bad boy. Heartbreak, betrayal, lies, love, obnoxious attitudes and friendships bound by blood oaths or by loyalty.

At the beginning of this book Ridley is her usual selfish, manipulative and demanding self. Everything has to revolve around her needs, her wishes and her sense of entitlement. This time it also revolves around fixing a mistake she made, whilst playing a game with high stakes.

Slowly Ridley begins to notice things aren't exactly hunky-dory in the Big Apple. Something just doesn't gel right, and suddenly Ridley is concerned about something other than herself for once. She learns important lessons, some of which are long overdue, but perhaps a little late in the day to stop whatever has been set in motion.

I have to say I think the Caster element of the story is the one with the most potential for development. The authors can take it down a darker route with deeper, which I think is a possibility considering the ending.

The Caster light and dark aspect of the story would be interesting in a more adult setting. Taking the teeny bop out and either creating new characters for such a setting or having the current characters evolve into maturity.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This digital short Dangerous Dream is a lead up to the Beautiful Creatures book Dangerous Creatures. This prequel introduces the story of Ridley and Link, or rather what happens to them when Ridley gets in over her head.

Dark Caster Ridley is a narcissistic diva with a heck of attitude and no regard at all for any casualties she leaves in her wake. She is quite simply a Siren.

Her elitist attitude is what gets her into a heap of trouble. Ridley ends up overestimating her own deck of cards and owing a very dangerous Caster a lot more than she is willing to give up.

Leading up to the actual introduction of the main plot of the next book the reader gets  to experiences all the characters at their graduation ceremony.

A wee bit of a half leg in and half a leg out, as far as creating a solid platform to introduce Dangerous Creatures. The game and Lennox scenes are enough to create interest, but they only take up a few pages.

The rest was and is rather weak for the purpose of creating hype for the book Dangerous Creatures..
I received a copy of this novella via NetGalley.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

The story of two young women in occupied Poland during the Second World War, who have to hold the remnants of their small family together.

Their father is dead and their mother not far from crossing that particular threshold herself.

Mother has held on to a secret for an entire lifetime, a secret that is a death sentence for her children in this particular climate and period in time.

The way the Ruth and Helena perceive their situation changes drastically after Helena inadvertently learns the truth. Suddenly past behaviour, the choice of hospital for their mother and the lack of relatives around them takes on a different meaning altogether.

Identical twins are usually connected in a way other siblings aren't, but I don't get that feeling from Helena and Ruth. There is jealousy, spite and a need to own what the other sister has and feel what the other sister is feeling, but close they are not.

They have been drawn apart by the heavy burden of responsibility they are both carrying upon their young shoulders. Ruth has become the surrogate mother to her younger siblings and Helena has become the surrogate father and provider to them all.

Helena seems to step away from the bubble of family to develop her own identity and in a sense she does so in a way that is detrimental to her siblings. She risks her life and their lives by hiding a fugitive, by hoarding food and by keeping secrets.

The interaction between Sam and Helena is perhaps a little on the overzealous side and fits uncomfortably into the seriousness of the setting, however they are both still very young. The bravado of children in the midst of the bones and ashes of the dead.

The tragedy that leads to the catastrophic chain of events isn't the betrayal, as far as I am concerned. The fact both Ruth and Helena choose to lie to protect their siblings instead of telling them the truth, especially the older ones, eventually leads to a fatal misunderstanding.

The betrayal plays a pivotal role in the redemption and the guilt. It also serves as a reminder of what might have been. I would go as far as to say that perhaps one of the characters in the book was possibly relieved at the outcome and reluctant to take care of the ensuing consequences.

Jenoff manages to capture the complexity of family relationships and the tentacles of support it can offer. She does this without painting the picture with sugary sweetness and puppy dog tails. Simultaneously Jenoff creates a realistic scenario of sibling rivalry, the struggle to leave the nest and the reality of being a parent instead of an elder sibling to younger children.

It is harsh, cruel, unfair and emotional. It is the silent fate of many casualties of occupied countries, the people who are never counted or heard from, because the past is often left buried forever.

This is a story, which is likely to provoke emotive responses, regardless of whether it is due to the historical setting or the choices made by characters. It is also written in a way that is suitable for younger readers who are perhaps interested in historical fiction with a healthy portion of romance.

Buy The Winter Guest at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @PamJenoff on Twitter, on Facebook PamJenoffauthor, or visit pamjenoff.com

Read The Last Embrace or The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery

I found it hard to sympathize with Anna. There seems to be this underlying selfish narcissistic personality trait, which seems to influence a lot of her decisions.

It isn't so much the fact that she isn't sure or she wants change, it is more about I want and I want it now.

In that respect she resembles Rosa, although it doesn't become apparent till a lot later in the story.

This is especially apparent in her relationship, interactions and conversations with Ruth. When the oldest son returns home to find Goldilocks sleeping in his bed and eating his porridge, Anna looks to Ruth as if to say now what shall we do?


What one earth does she think Ruth should do? First of all there is no 'we' where Ruth and Anna are concerned they're not a couple. Anna is the intruder and Patrick is simply returning home. There is no question of what needs to happen next.

To me it seemed as if Ruth at some point in time became an excellent substitute for Rosa or at least Anna perceives her that way subconsciously. The level of intimacy, the natural assumption Ruth will drop everything at once for Anna. The almost inappropriate and highly unusual relationship they have, despite Ruth being the ex to Anna's boyfriend and the mother of his son.

By inappropriate I mean Anna making Ruth more important than her current boyfriend. Not that ex's and new partners can't be friends, in this it is more about Anna not understanding the boundaries she is clearly overstepping. Wrapped in her bubble of me there is little space for others.

Simultaneously the reader learns about Sandra, mother to Rosa and Anna, and the tragedy that shaped her past and future. Proving that secrets are like weights tied to the bottom of our boats sailing across the unpredictable waters of life.The kind of secret than can cause implosions and the destruction of family units.

One of the more important sub-plots threaded through the story of the people left behind after a loved one has gone missing. Obviously the actual missing person gets all the attention, and leaving aside the tragedy connected to a scenario of this sort or possible fates of the missing persons, this focuses on their loved ones.

The not knowing, the constant fear, the images of possible pain being inflicted upon the missing person, but in the end the just not knowing what happened to them causes inexplicable grief.

This story is about the aftermath of such an event and way it shapes each day for those left behind from that day forward.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Power: The Girl in the Box #10 by Robert J. Crane

It has been a long tumultuous road, filled with death, torture, pain and hardship, and that was just the fun side of things.

The girl we met in book 1 Alone has grown into a young woman.

A leader of people, a killer of all that dares stand in her way, and above all she has finally caught the end of the tigers tail she has been chasing.

An understanding of why, when, who and the what the hell for, and the knowledge to destroy the one person who created all the questions in the first place.

After all Sienna has been through, after all she has lost, and those hits just keep on coming like a shark hunting bait, will she be able to peer through the screen of destruction and see the light? Will she succumb to the ultimate power and the life being offered to her on a silver platter?

Jigsaw pieces come together to make the picture complete. Unanswered nagging questions from the very first few pages of the series are answered ten-fold and more.

Sovereign decides to try a different tack to convince Sienna. His actions create suspicion, disbelief and then a dangerous level of acceptance and complacency seeps in to the minds around him. The enemy becomes friend, the foe become a divided Korea and Sienna's merry bunch of hybrids become a tad confused.

Sienna wouldn't be such a popular character if she didn't throw us for a loop and make a leap in the complete opposite direction. In the end she is complete. The past has taught her well and she is able to envisage not only the future, but also finally understands the connection between herself and Andromeda.

Of course the same goes for Crane, he also wouldn't be such a popular author if he didn't know exactly how to keep his readers on their toes and guessing backwards like an episode of Jeopardy does Metas.

The end of the book holds a surprise revelation in regards to Sienna's fate. Unexpected to say the least. I have enjoyed and devoured each and every word of this series. Kudos to Crane for that.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Untouched: The Girl in the Box #2 by Robert J. Crane

This is the second book in the Girl in a Box series. It is an urban supernatural with a flair of dystopian fantasy. Crane doesn't disappoint with yet another fine example of his creative imagination.

The main character Sienna has finally figured out what her main meta power is, she is one of very few succubi.

Crane hasn't used the word succubus in the same sense as the usual contemporary paranormal/supernatural books. Sienna 'takes in' the people she overpowers and then by definition they become part of her.

This of course leaves the door open to a very interesting psychological dilemma and sub-plot. If the people she absorbs become part of her personality then that begs the question, who is making the decisions?

Are her actions based on her own choices or influenced by the ones within. Fascinating concept, which is delivered in an amusing and realistic way.

The internal dialogue becomes part of her expectations, despite who the person within her is, we find Sienna actually looking for the connection when it goes silent.

The plot follows a meta, who has gone beyond the point of redemption.

The main character feels sympathetic towards the plight of the troubled meta and of course this is the opposite of what is expected of her in the group she has accidentally aligned herself with. Again she is at war with her internal conflicts and supposed external obligations.

I am going to have to stop myself there, because as you can obviously tell, I liked the book so much I want to discuss it..a lot. So no more borderline spoilers.

I highly recommend giving the series a go, starting with Alone: The Girl in the Box #1.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Alone: The Girl in the Box #1 by Robert J. Crane

In 2012 this was a venture into a completely new genre for Crane and I have to say that his path from Epic Fantasy into the supernatural  Urban Fantasy world is very good.

Not one iota reminds the reader of where the author has once trodden upon the paths of trolls and magicians.

Often it is hard to leap from a genre one is comfortable in. Instead it is as if he was never anywhere other than in the mind of this meta human girl.

A young hybrid with extraordinary skills and unknown dimensions of abilities yet to be discovered. She has been kept hidden away in a house, by her mother, for her entire existence.

One day her mother doesn't return home and she is introduced to a world of unimaginable monsters and people who want to treat her like a guinea pig.

The story is fast paced and gritty with a balanced proportion of Sci-Fi and supernatural, without the usual suspects one tends to finds in books of this genre.

I found it engrossing, perhaps because the main character wasn't your typical little girl please feel sorry for me type. Instead she was tough with a smart-alec attitude, but still managed to act with the carelessness of an inexperienced youth.

I thought the end was brilliant, so much so that it made a shiver run down the back of my neck. I look forward to reading where the author will take that cliffhanger.
I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Legacy: The Girl in the Box #8 by Robert J. Crane

I will be the first to admit that Crane drives me absolutely bonkers because he is such a master weaver of plots.

I get all smug and feel like Sherlock Holmes on a high when I think I have figured out exactly where he is taking the story. Then it’s Wham Bam Thank you for playing Sherlock, as he throws a spanner into my well laid explanation.

So let’s see where we are at the beginning of the eighth book in Alone (The Girl in the Box #1) Sienna has been delegated to top dog at Omega, which sort of happens when the leadership team falls prey to a series of unplanned fatal accidents. This also means she is in charge of what is left, ergo the straggling limping remains of the Unit.

After all the excitement in Enemies she decides to hop on a plane all footloose and carefree, except she doesn't realise that her feet aren't exactly loose any more. The powers that be have other plans for her. They also have some surprises to spring on Sienna, some of which are less than enjoyable.

Without revealing any of the major events in the story I want to at least try and discuss some of them in a way that will omit any revelation. Did you get any of that? No neither did I. It sounded way better in my head than it does on screen.

Mama Bear Sierra turns up out of the blue and I can honestly say for the first time in eight books mother and daughter manage to connect on a level which is less than vitriolic. Somewhere along the line I think one of them needs to accept that they are more or less re-enacting family secrets, problems and schemes devised by third parties over and over again through the generations.

Sierra is Sienna and Sienna is Sierra, add on grandmother and great-grandmother and you have a whole lot of orchestrated events tumbling over each other and the direction of their personal history. They think, especially Sierra, that they have changed the course of fate, when in fact other people have been pulling the strings in the background when it became necessary or convenient. Some of that becomes evident during this book.

I really want to get my teeth into Sovereign.

By the middle of this story I had come to the conclusion that there must be a time travelling element involved. The flashbacks to specific Meta, who had interacted with Sovereign, made me wonder whether he knew exactly who or what she would imbibe, which would explain his killing some and letting others live.

Did I mention the author and his propensity for spanners?

Book eight is the calm before the storm, the eye of the hurricane and so eerily tranquil that I know the last two books are going to just implode.

Sienna is walking the last stretch of the mile towards fulfilling her destiny, even if she is completely unaware of what that might be exactly but I am guessing from the ending in this book that she isn't in the dark any more.
Sienna has broken free of the constraints of that box and she is finally getting a glimpse of what she is and what is expected of her.

However it is Sienna, so if I know one thing for sure it is the fact that what everyone expects is never what she ends up doing.

As always this was a fantastic read.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Blackhouse by Peter May


Writing a tale of crime isn't as easy as it often appears to be. Creating a whodunnit a la Colonel Mustard with the frying pan in the library seems to be simplicity itself. It isn't, and the crime writers of today have to be able to add a special flavour or essence to it, to stand out from the rest.

In May's case it is that particular brand of imagery combined with realistic characters and the ability to place the reader right there in the centre of the story.

It is almost as if the reader is walking right along beside Detective Fin MacLeod during the read. You can feel the cold wind and the vast emptiness of the island.

I have to admit to not having any prior knowledge about the annual Hebridean guga hunt, This actual real life event plays an important part in this story. I came away from the book with sudden realisation that this wasn't just a fictional sub-plot or a bygone tradition from days of old, and it does in fact still take place in our modern-day and age. There is written confirmation of the event dating back to 1549 probably eve further back.

I believe in sustaining traditions to a certain point, but surely there is a different way to connect to the past without the senseless culling of thousands of chicks each year?

If you have lived in a village you will be well acquainted with the atmosphere in this book. If you weren't born there you are an outsider and will always be an outsider. All problems are dealt with internally and any external influence is frowned upon. On an island this feeling is multiplied to the point of paranoia.

This becomes apparent in Fin's handling of the case. He often acts with the best intention of the islanders at the forefront of his mind. as opposed to handling the situation the way a policeman should.

Perhaps if he had left his emotions at home the murderer wouldn't have been given as much leeway or a chance to create more damage.There is no such thing as objective when friends and family are involved.

I have to say I really enjoyed May's particular style of creation and plot weaving.
I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss, courtesy of Quercus.

The Chill of Night by James Hayman

The second in the McCabe and Savage series, a fast paced police procedural story with a detective who takes his work home with him and his problems from home to work with him.

Hayman draws attention to the fact that people with mental illnesses often suffer from stereotyping by the people around them and the public in general.

In this case the police automatically assume the 'crazy' girl is just having another episode or psychotic break and just leave her to her own devices and very real fears.

I find it interesting that McCabe and Maggie have an almost clairvoyant relationship. She knows what he is thinking and what he wants even if he doesn't say a word. They are closer as a pair than Kyra and McCabe are. Maggie understands the job and the difficulties it brings with it, whereas Kyra has trouble understanding that the job comes first for him.

The murder victim and her physical appearance bring a kind of odd closure for McCabe. He is rattled by the similarity or rather he is rattled by the fact he is actually rattled by the similarity. He begins to question himself. Why would he be disturbed by the similarity, does that mean he still has feelings for her or would he be glad if it were her corpse instead?

Indeed the whole Sandy scenario plays a secondary part in the plot and yet a pivotal role in McCabe being able to finally let go of the past and some of the pain he endured because of her. I think most readers who have been through a contentious break-up or divorce will be able to understand the randomness of the occurrence and the importance of the gesture.

The victim takes a back seat in this story while the witness takes centre stage. Unusual yet very effective.

I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperCollins.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Pete seems to be the exact opposite of what people expect from a social worker, both from a physical perspective and most certainly based on his lifestyle choices.

Alcohol, drugs and violent altercations. The relationship between his ex and their daughter is a shambles. His own family is a superb example of lack of communication and a lifetime of recriminations.

Doesn't exactly seem like the type to solve the problems of children or teens in dire need of help, and yet he does become the single lifeline of many.

Mary seems like such a breath of fresh air in the beginning, perhaps even a chance or a new beginning for Pete. Her childhood and past creates a void between them.

What must it be like to know that the inevitability of your past is always chasing you. Always being present and at the forefront of people's minds, ergo they judge before they have taken the time to get to know her.

Saying that, is someone who has fallen prey to the system of social care and been dropped into the black hole of Forgotten, able to be anything other than their past?

If you have seen, done, or have had every imaginable and unimaginable cruelty done to you, is there a way of ever leaving that behind? When I say behind I mean trying not to let it guide the future, at least not in a negative way.

Curtis is the perfect example of a child on his way into the same type of black hole in the very much overextended social services system. His behaviour is typical of one that has been abused. He is over-sexualized, has a tendency towards unpredictable and violent behaviour. He ends up where Pete knows he will become a lost cause, just another statistic on the path to destruction.

Pete becomes so frustrated at one point that he actually steps into the group of non trustworthy people in the boy's life. The one person Curtis has accepted as a type of anchor in tumultuous seas starts to look more like a dinghy with a hole.

The irony of the story is of course the fate of Pete's daughter. Her life becomes a sequence of predictable events, the type of events that follow in the tread of neglectful parents. Pete swings between worry and forgetting her existence, and he completely ignores her plea for help.

So whilst he is fully prepared to go to the ends of the earth for the children of others his own becomes disappears into the system and out of his life altogether. The reader finds themselves with a conundrum. Is Pete a hero or is he the abuser? How can he bend the rules and go to such extensive lengths to save one
family and facilitate the destruction of his own?

I do so enjoy the type of story that ends up shining the light on the perfect imperfection of human nature.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley, courtesy of Random House UK, Cornerstone.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Not Quite Perfect by Annie Lyons

The story gives one a real sense of the chaos, bustle and the unpredictability of life, especially when small children are thrown in the mix. The miniature humans in this tale could give the kids from the TV series Outnumbered a run for their money.

Speaking from experience I can say that the scenarios with children in this story, aren't unusual at all. One of mine used to be a bit of a Lily, and I also believed in letting her explore her own sense of fashion, much to her grandmothers chagrin and more often than not to my horror. I would like to say that she grew out of it, needless to say she is still a walking fashion statement now at 21, although I still quite uncertain of which particular statement we are trying to make.

As the mother of small children life can often seem like a whirlwind episode on the Harry Potter ghost bus, travelling at high speeds with no stops and many bumps in the road. The adult or mother, who was previously the career gal suddenly becomes just so and so’s mom.

First names cease to exist, personalities get lost, and the relationships between husband and wife are often put on hold until the kiddy stress dies down a little. Not all marriages cope with the extreme pressure of child rearing and family life. A lot crumble under the pressure.

Rachel seems to be losing sight of her relationship within the busy and chaotic life they have built for themselves and Emma thinks she is living in one of the books she helps to edit. Both of them need a wake-up call and unfortunately there is one heading right in their direction.

The author has added an unexpected plot twist, one that I found very emotional and indeed it made me cry. Perhaps because it hits upon a fear or apprehension I have about something I know is inevitable, but have no idea how I will handle the situation when it arises.

I think one of the strengths of this book is Lyons portrayal of a realistic family setting. There are no perfect relationships, encounters or family dynamics for that matter. The reality is none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.

Buy Not Quite Perfect at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @1AnnieLyons or @HQStories visit annielyons.com or connect with Annie on Facebbook

Read The Choir on Hope Street or Not Quite Perfect by Annie Lyons.

Synbio by Leslie Alan Horvitz

I think I can safely say that after reading this book I now know a lot about DNA and genetics.

Perhaps even more than I would like to know or imagine possible.

The use of bio-genetics as a biological weapon of warfare.

If it ever becomes as simple as it seems in this story then I am afraid we have something to worry about.

Kudos to the author for simplifying the process and explanations, so that a layman can understand all the science involved.

We see Eugenie find her moral compass and at the same time she is struck by the reality of not being able to do anything to change the plight of others or those in need. It is  interesting to see that contradiction in someone who appears so completely ruthless and jaded.

I think Seth plays the key-role of the scientist confronted by the conundrum most scientists have to face or acknowledge eventually. To discover can also often men holding the key to a potential weapon. Each cure can become a recipe for death, and each new step forward could mean any steps backwards for humanity.

It could do with a little more structure and direction. The development of the main characters suffers a little from the sheer magnitude of the main plot and sub-plots.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Everyone makes mistakes, accidents happen and no single person goes through life without making at least one really bad choice.

Is one mistake, one small lapse in good judgement, a reflection on our personality, our parenting style or perhaps even the state of our mental health? That is exactly what this  book is about, someone making the type of mistake you can never quite recover from.

A hard-working stressed out mother, who loves her children and treats them well, becomes the focus of a child neglect/abuse investigation. The moral parameter swings like Poe’s Pendulum,  from guilt to innocence.

Has Ellen become one of the heartbreaking cases she tends to? As a social worker she sees the very bottom of the soulless pit of violence, abuse, pain, hatred and despair. It is her job to rescue children and women from these desperate situations.

Not that rescue is always possible or an option. More often than not the victims of abuse, especially children, are returned straight back to the family home.

Ellen is diligent to a fault. She leaves no stone unturned to help the people allocated to her case-load. Leaves as fast as possible when she gets an emergency call from one of her flock. In fact she is so intent on saving humanity that her family often seems to come second to everyone else.

Then there comes the day when her priorities cause an accident of such epic proportions that her whole life, career, marriage and all her close relationships come close to being destroyed.

I really enjoyed the way the author showed the reality of the flip-side of social work and a social workers life. Being the sounding board for people in need and only having the ability to help them in a marginally small way, can really cause havoc in the minds of the people in that particular career branch. It is also the reason for the high number of burnt out individuals in social work.

The pain and frustration of knowing you just can’t save them all, despite all the good intentions you might have. Some of them are going to die, spend their lives in a continuous vicious cycle of violence and neglect. Knowing all that and acknowledging the lack of power you have over being able to change the outcome and futures of these children is enough to drive any person round the bend. Or at least to drive them to a point of complete overload.

This story takes a look at how quickly a person or parent can end up being just another statistic. Going from one end of the parent scale to the other, from good to so-called bad parent. Going  from being the saviour or helper to being the abuser.

All it takes is one small moment of not paying attention, a few seconds out of sight and out of mind or a few seconds of being preoccupied by something or someone else.

A great read that takes a close look at boundaries between abuse, neglect and accidents. Sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line, and more often than not the benefit of the doubt is given to the wrong person and to the detriment of a child or victim.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley