Hired: Undercover In Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

The Blurb On The Back:

Zero-hours contracts and the gig economy have redefined the relationship between companies and their workers: for many, careers are low-paid and high-risk, a series of short-term jobs with no security and little future.  In this essential exposé, James Bloodworth goes undercover to investigate how working life has become a waking nightmare.  From the Orwellian reach of an Amazon warehouse and the high-turnover rate of a telesales factory in Wales to the time trials of a council care worker and the grim reality behind the glossy Uber App, Hired is a clear-eyed analysis of a divided nation and a riveting dispatch from the very frontline of low-wage Britain. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

The Blurb On The Back:

The case is closed.

Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it.  Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure.  When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden.  And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth? 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Blood by E. S. Thomson

The Blurb On The Back:

I know the smell of death well enough.  But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different.  It was a curious, moist smell: a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide.

Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain board the seaman’s floating hospital, an old hulk known only as The Blood, where prejudice, ambition and murder are rife.

Embroiled in a dark and terrible mystery, Jem and Will embark on a quest to find the truth – but can they uncover the ship’s secrets?  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

The Blurb On The Back:

You’re driving home from work to your husband and children.

Suddenly a woman is in front of your car.  She’s being attacked.

You call the police and they tell you to stay in your car.

But what if you got out to help?  What might the consequences be?

You save the woman, but the attacker takes your handbag.  And your car.

And then, the next day, when you think it’s all over, your husband disappears.

He’s gone without a trace.

And then he texts you.  I’m sorry.

But is it really him?

Nothing could prepare you for what happens next …

Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man attacking a woman on the side of the road and makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos.  Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her car to help.

She saves the woman, but while she helps the victim, the attacker steals her car.  Now he has her name.  Her address.  And he knows about her children.

The next day – Halloween – her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter.  Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare?

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight – to go to the most terrifying extremes – to save her family and her marriage.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Artificial Intelligence In Practice by Bernard Marr and Matt Ward

The Blurb On The Back:

Adopt AI-solutions to meet real-world business problems.

Artificial Intelligence In Practice is a practical resource that demystifies how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be used to solve common business challenges and open the door to opportunities that often exceed expectations.  The book is filled with insights from some of the most important AI giants including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, ALibaba, and other forward thinking industry leaders.  It also presents compelling case studies from traditional businesses and startups, that detail how AI is being applied in the real world of business. 

Bestselling author and AI expert Bernard Marr offers detailed examinations of 50 companies that have successfully integrated AI into their business practices.  He provides an overview of each company, describes the specific problem AI addressed and explains how AI offered a workable solution.  Each case study contains a comprehensive overview, some technical details as well as key learning summaries.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the most important modern business trends that are driving today’s (and tomorrow’s) successes.  As the book’s myriad cases demonstrate, AI can be used in industries ranging from banking and finance to media and marketing.  By adopting AI technology, any business, no matter what size, sector or industry, can advance innovative solutions to their most demanding challenges.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson

The Blurb On The Back:

Siglufjörour: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind.

When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one and secrets and lies are a way of life.

An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal.  Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust even deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron

The Blurb On The Back:

Grandmother said I will be a powerful witch doctor one day.

But I cannot wait that long.

Arrah’s fate was foretold in the bones.

Descended from a long line of powerful witch doctors, she is desperate for a taste of magic.  No matter what the cost.

As strange premonitions and spirits descend upon the Kingdom, Arrah discovers she will do anything to save her people – even if it means sacrificing years of her own life.

Arrah must find a way to master this borrowed power.  But how much time does she have left? 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Boot by Shane Hegarty

The Blurb On The Back:

When toy robot, Boot, wakes up at a scrapyard it has no idea how it got there and why it isn’t with its owner, Beth.  It only has two and a half glitchy memories but it knows it was loved, which seems important.

Boot is scared but tries to be brave, which is hard when your screen keeps showing a wobbly, worried face.  Luckily Boot meets Noke and Red who have learned to survive in secret.

With its new friends by its side, Boot and the gang set off on a dangerous adventure to find their way home. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

The Blurb On The Back:

Jaci Patterson was sixteen when she found the first locket on her porch.

Inside were a few strands of hair wrapped around a scrap of bloodstained ribbon.  Though the ‘gifts’ kept arriving, no one believed her hunch that a serial killer was at work.

Now Jaci has finally returned home – only for bodies of strangled victims to start appearing years after the disappeared.

Her nightmare is beginning all over again.  And this time it won’t end until the murderer makes Jaci his … for ever.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Economics Of Arrival: Ideas For A Grown Up Economy by Katherine Trebeck and Jeremy Williams

The Blurb On The Back:

What do we want from economic growth?  What sort of a society are we aiming for?  In everyday economics, there is no such thing as enough, or too much, growth.  Yet in the world’s most developed countries, growth has already brought unrivalled prosperity: we have ‘Arrived’.

More than that, through debt, inequality, climate change and fractured politics, the fruits of growth may rot before everyone has a chance to enjoy them.  It’s high time to ask where progress is taking us, and are we nearly there yet?

In fact, Trebeck and Williams claim in this ground-breaking book, the challenge is now to make ourselves at home with this wealth, and to ensure, in the interests of equality, that everyone is included. They explore the possibility of ‘Arrival’, urging us to move from enlarging the economy to improving it, and the benefits this would bring for all. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »