Mini reviews: 3* across the board. Target: Alex Cross – James Patterson, The Christmas Sisters – Sarah Morgan, The chestnut man – Soren Sveistrup

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Goodreads synopsis:

TARGET: HEAD OF STATE

A leader has fallen, and the procession route from Capitol Hill to the White House is lined with hundreds of thousands of mourners. None feel the loss of a President more keenly than Alex Cross, who has devoted his life to the public good.

TARGET: UNITED STATES CABINET

A sniper’s bullet strikes a target in the heart of DC. Alex Cross’s wife, Bree Stone, newly elevated chief of DC detectives, faces an ultimatum: solve the case, or lose the position for which she’s worked her entire career. The Secret Service and the FBI deploy as well in the race to find the shooter. Alex is tasked by the new President to take a personal role with the FBI, leading an investigation unprecedented in scale and scope.

TARGET: ALEX CROSS 

Alex has a horrible premonition: is the sniper’s strike only the beginning of a larger attack on the nation? It isn’t long before his fears explode into life, and the nation plunges into a full-blown Constitutional crisis. His ingenuity, his training, and his capacity for battle are tested beyond limits in the most far-reaching and urgently consequential case of his life. As the rule of law is shattered by chaos, and Alex fights to isolate a suspect, Alex’s loyalty may be the biggest danger of all.

Our Review:

I had so many James Patterson books on my bookshelves until about a month ago, when they found a new home with my Auntie and Uncle. (I kept the best of the best – Kiss the girls, Along came a spider, Roses are red). I have read quite a few, but it was just time to let someone else have a go.

This popped up on Netgalley and I thought that a digital copy couldn’t hurt, I don’t need room on my bookshelves for it. Let’s have another one! 🙂

This is a great thriller, it is number 26 in the series, but can be read as a standalone. I admit I haven’t read a James Patterson for a little while, but I got straight into it and the writing was familiar, which helped. The one thing that started putting me off JP recently, was his collaborations. I don’t enjoy many of the ones he has written with others, as much as the earlier ‘all him’ ones. So this next instalment of the Alex Cross series was great to read.

It’s political and fast paced. I couldn’t keep up with all of the political and american jargon, but I made do.

The short chapters helped me read this quite quickly, and whilst the plot was somewhat unrealistic- you needed to suspend belief to really get on board with it- I enjoyed the story telling. JP is a master at spinning a good yarn and getting you invested in his stories.

Target : Alex Cross lacks the grittiness of his earlier work, but non the less was a riveting read from start to finish.

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Goodreads synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

Our Review:

This is a story about family relationships, at it’s core.

There are the three sisters: Hannah, Beth and Posy. The sisters are all so different – one being a high flyer, one a stay at home mum and one that works in the mountains in Scotland.

The girls ‘come home’ for Christmas, to their adoptive parents home in Scotland, and we hear about how they are all still grieving and trying to move on from the tragic death of their parents years ago, whilst simultaneously dealing with their own individual problems.

We have emotion, surprises, drama, romance – everything that you would expect from a Sarah Morgan book.

Growing up in a large family, with three sisters at the top, I related to this dynamic especially. They are such strong characters, each so very different, but aiming for the same thing – a pursuit of happiness, and closure.

I liked Posy best out of the three sisters, she has the most spirit, and I felt more connected with her. She hasn’t got the ‘major drama’ of a possible unplanned pregnancy, or the ‘life changing’ decision to make about a husband and children, but she has her own things going on, and I feel she deals with them exceptionally.

As with any book with Christmas in the title, you are going to start feeling happy and festive the more you read it. You will get sucked into the holiday spirit and not want to get out!

Enjoy this book, I did.

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Goodreads synopsis:

The police make a terrible discovery in a suburb of Copenhagen. A young woman has been killed and dumped at a playground. One of her hands has been cut off, and above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner is Mark Hess, a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead, the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. A man confessed to her murder, and the case is long since solved.

Soon afterwards, another woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case, the murdered women and a killer who is spreading fear throughout the country. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the murderer is on a mission that is far from over…

Our Review:

This was an OK read, not something I would read again, which is a shame as it held so much promise for me, being a police procedural /thriller.

Thurin was a good character, she is young, ambitious, respected and good at her job. Her character is well written. Soren Sveistrup writes the police team well and creates suspense and tension. There just seemed to be something missing to me.

Unfortunately the bad guy /gal was guessed early on, as there could be few others it could be with the info we are given.

Not a bad read, just slightly underwhelming.

These three stories each got  🌟🌟🌟 from us. Thanks to Netgally for the opportunity to read and review these books before release day.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Becca x

2 thoughts on “Mini reviews: 3* across the board. Target: Alex Cross – James Patterson, The Christmas Sisters – Sarah Morgan, The chestnut man – Soren Sveistrup

  1. Great review of these books. This quite the coincidence for real I did the same thing you did a couple of years ago with my Alex Cross obsession and I kept those exact ones you mention in your blog😊 along with a couple others and now it looks like I will be getting into some Alex Cross again with this one😊.

    Liked by 1 person

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