Reviews: Mice by Gordon Reece | The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell)

Mice by Gordon Reece | Genre: YA Fiction
'Shelley, darling,' Mum said. 'Don't be frightened. He just wants money. If we do everything he says, he's going to go away and leave us alone.'I didn't believe her, and I could tell from the trembling of her hands and the catch in her voice that she didn't believe it herself. When a cat gets into the mousehole, it doesn't go away leaving the mice unharmed. I knew how this story was going to end.

About Gordon Reece
Gordon Reece is a writer/illustrator based in North East Victoria, Australia. Born in the UK in 1963 he studied English literature at Keble College, Oxford, and was a teacher and briefly a personal injury lawyer before dedicating himself full-time to writing and illustrating in 1999.  Gordon has had 15 books for children and young adults published in Australia and Spain where he lived for six years. Gordon also writes graphic novels and is a life-long comics fan. He is a member of AACE, the Spanish association of comic book writers.

One Thumb Up
An engaging thriller. What a relief to read a non fantasy based YA novel. The story made me quesiton what I would have done in Shelly & her mum's position? I enjoyed the 'mice' analogy too. I can see this book eaily translating to a blockbuster movie script.

The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) |
Genre: Fiction (Audio)
Tory MP Ivor Tesham has unconventional tastes. And in bored housewife Hebe Furnal he finds someone to share and enact his sexual fantasies. However, one day it all goes terribly wrong. Ivor plans a special liaison for Hebe's birthday - a daring sexual adventure. But dangerous games have unforeseen costs and consequences. And when there is an accidental death, scandal and ruin cannot be far behind. How long can a secret stay a secret? How long will friends protect a reputation?

About Ruth Rendell
Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, who also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, (born February 17, 1930), is a British best-selling mystery and psychological crime writer, often called the Queen of Crime. Born in London, she worked as a journalist for Essex newspapers before creating her character Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, the protagonist of her first police procedural From Doon With Death (1964). She has received many awards for her writing, including the Silver, Gold and Cartier Diamond Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association, 3 Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America, The Arts Council National Book Awards, and the Sunday Times Literary Award. She was made CBE in 1996 and a life peer in 1997.

This was my first Ruth Rendell novel and must admit it was not my cup of tea. I found it to be a little pompous for my liking and perhaps the actor's voices (spoken in Darling Street English accents) contributed to this impression. The plot was ok, the characters so-so. But what REALLY cheesed me off was the fact that the image on the Audio cover is not true to the story. The character was wearing long black boots when she was abducted not red stilettos. This might seem like a minor oversight for some but it really gets up my nose. It's all about the little details I reckon!

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