Book reviews

The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson – Book Review #bookreview

Not my usual genre, but I felt like a change of pace… here we are :



A gorgeous story about friendship and working together from a star picture-book partnership, the inimitable Julia Donaldson and award-winning Catherine Rayner.

‘The Go-Away bird sat up in her nest, With her fine grey wings and her fine grey crest.’ One by one, the other birds fly into her tree, wanting to talk or to play, but the Go-Away bird just shakes her head and sends them all away. But then the dangerous Get-You bird comes along, and she soon realizes that she might need some friends after all . . .

The Go-Away Bird combines brilliant rhyming verse from much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson, creator of the bestselling picture books The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard, with stunning illustrations from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner.

A charming story about the power of friendship from a thrilling creative partnership, this beautiful book is perfect for reading together.


What an absolutely delightful story, the fine grey, Go-Away bird, doesn’t want to be bothered by the other birds, they make her dizzy, seedy, and batty…..Go-Away Go-Away…..

But then along comes the Get-You bird, it’s big, brown and scary…what’s going to happen ? Phew, luckily, thanks to the Come-Back bird, the other birds fly back and together they send the Get-You bird on its way. A charming tale of teamwork and friendship, sometimes we just need others for a little help. A beautiful tale with stunning illustrations.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair, unbiased and honest review

#TheGoAwayBird #NetGalley

Buy a copy here – due to be published 7 March 2019


Julia Donaldson has written some of the world’s best-loved children’s books, including The Gruffalo and the What the Ladybird Heard adventures. 

She was Children’s Laureate 2011-13 and has an MBE for Services to Literature. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West Sussex and Edinburgh, and love to travel. 

Julia was very happy to hear the Go-Away bird’s call for herself on a trip to South Africa, but is less keen to meet a hungry Get-You bird. 

Catherine Rayner is an award-winning author and illustrator. She studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, and still lives in the city with her husband and two sons. Catherine was named as one of BookTrust’s ten Best New Illustrators in 2008, and in 2009 she won the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.

Catherine loves animals and has a horse, a cat and a goldfish which all inspire her work but, so far, no birds. the Go-away bird is a real bird that lives in Africa. It has smoky grey feathers, a long tail and a crest on its head that can be raised up when the bird is excited. The Go-Away bird makes its nest from thin, often thorny twigs. It is named after its call, which sounds as if it is shouting ‘Go away!’.

But in spite of this, Go-Away birds can sometimes be found in groups of up to 20 or even 30 –so perhaps it is quite friendly after all!

Book reviews

#BlogTour! #Review – Life or Death by Chris Merritt (@DrCJMerritt) #ZacIsBack @Bookouture

A brilliant review

The Writing Garnet

This isn’t a ‘Life or Death’ situation, however I am delighted to be sharing my review of Chris Merritt’s latest novel today, as part of the blog tour! Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Never forget. Never forgive.

As a detective in the Metropolitan police, Zac is no stranger to murder cases, but this one is different. This is his daughter’s murder. 

Years after Amelia died, Zac is still trying to trace the police office involved in his daughter’s death.

And whilst Zac is prepared to break every rule to find the man responsible, his young and ambitious deputy, Kat, is working on a high profile case of her own. But she knows Zac is keeping secrets from his team so she’s following his every move.

When one of Zac’s informants is killed, he knows he’s close to catching his man…

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Book reviews

Severed Blog Tour

Love the review

On The Shelf Books

During a communion service at a village church, the teenage son of a vicar brutally attacks his father with an axe. The horrified congregation watch the son esape and during a frantic police search rumours arise that the boy was involved in devil worship. Professor Matt Hunter, an atheist ex-minister and expert on religion, is brought in to advise, yet he quickly suspects the church attack may have a far more complex cause.

Meanwhile, a ten-year-old boy called Ever grows up in a small Christian cult. The group believe they are the only true humans left and that the world is filled with demons called Hollows, but they’re working on a bizarre ritual that will bring peace and paradise to the world. Soon, the worlds of Matt and Ever will collide in one awful, terrifying night where Matt is thrown into the frightening and murderous world of religious mania.

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Book reviews

#blogblitz Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen

Life of

Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowing tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Seven years later in the city of Lahore, members of a prominent family are being brutally murdered one by one. The only clue is a hand-carved wooden bangle left at the scene of each crime.

As the list of suspects grows and the tension mounts, Ralph realises the answers might be closer to home than he ever thought possible.

Solving the mystery will put him back on top but at what cost?

Only when the smoke…

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Book reviews

#CoverReveal – Death Will Find Me by Vanessa Robertson @Ness_Robertson #LoveBooksGroupTours

Looks and sounds good

Secret Library Book Blog


I’m delighted to share my first ever cover reveal on the blog today for Death Will find Me by Vanessa Robertson organised by Love Books Group. It’s for a historical fiction novel set in the 1920s. Before I reveal the cover here’s what the book is all about:

“Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that…

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