Today I’m back with three mini reviews! I recently read three of the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads for 2020 so I thought I would combine the reviews rather than posting all three individually.
The Donor – Clare Mackintosh
Rating: 3.5 stars
She gave you everything. But what does she want in return?
When Lizzie’s daughter Meg is given a life-saving heart transplant, Lizzie feels hugely grateful to the nameless donor. Then she receives a letter from the donor’s mother, Karen, asking to meet, and it seems like the least she can do.
But as soon as Karen is welcomed into their lives, Lizzie feels something isn’t right. And before long, she can’t help but worry that by inviting Karen in, she might have put Meg in danger . . .
This was a dark and twisty read about a young girl who receives a heart transplant. She begins receiving letters from the mother of the donor and their lives become intertwined. But Meg’s mum feels there’s something much more sinister going on.
This was such an interesting little book and I loved the surprise twist at the end. The characters were well written and the story really packed a punch. I liked that it was a complete story and it had a really satisfying ending. This is my first read from Clare Mackintosh but it has definitely made me more intrigued to try out some of her full length novels.
Darkness Rising – A. A. Dhand
Rating: 3 stars
Detective Inspector Harry Virdee has a lot on his plate. His team is facing government cuts, tensions are building between Bradford’s two rival drugs gangs and his wife Saima is due to give birth any day now.
So when bodies start turning up in the old industrial district, the pressure is on to get the case wrapped up as quickly as possible, or risk a full-scale gang war.
But the man behind the murders is ruthless and pushy. And things are getting personal. Harry must think fast and bend the rules if he wants to keep his city, and his family, safe…
Darkness Rising is a prequel novella in A. A. Dhand’s Harry Virdee series and the story follows Inspector Virdee as a body is discovered in Bradford that could be linked to local gangs. As Harry continues to investigate his life and the lives of his family are at stake and he must do everything he can to keep them safe.
I enjoyed this one quite a lot, it was dark and gritty and I really liked A. A. Dhand’s writing style. It did very much feel like an opening to a much larger series and I would be interested to read Streets of Darkness. It was an enjoyable and entertaining read and it felt very atmospheric. I had seen A. A. Dhand talk at a Bloody Scotland panel and had always been interested to read some of his work so I am definitely going to continue on with this series.
Notting Hill Carnival – Candice Carty-Williams
Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.
When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth. Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?
Notting Hill Carnival is the story of a girl named Sapphire who has abandoned her life as a gang leader to the Red Roses and is working full time. When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to the carnival, they instantly form a connection. She discovers he is a part of a rival gang and they have plans to meet with the Red Roses at the carnival. Can she escape her past before it destroys her?
I really wanted to love this one but I didn’t connect with it as much as I did the other two Quick Reads books I’ve picked up. I think if this had been a full length novel that really gave you the chance to get to know the characters I would have absolutely loved it. I thought it was a brilliant premise, but the story was just too quick for me. I enjoyed reading about the gangs and the friendships between them but I was less interested in the romance between Sapphire and Apollo. I did really like the writing style however so I would be intrigued to read a full length novel from Candice Carty-Williams.