Along Came a Spider (1993) by James Patterson is the first ever Alex Cross novel.
In this book, Cross is faced with the investigations into the murders of two black prostitutes and an infant child. While he is investigating, his nemesis Gary Soneji appears in the book after kidnapping two white children from affluent families called Maggie Rose and Michael Goldberg. Soneji had been working as a maths teacher at their school as a cover for his plans of kidnapping. Cross is mad about being took off the previous case and how more attention is being given to this case while the case of the two black prostitutes and the infant child are being pushed to one side.
Soon into his new case he meets the first woman who is his love interest in the books Jezzie Flannagan and they begin working together on the case. She is the head of the children’s Secret Service. It soon becomes apparent that the two children are buried alive in a farmhouse coffin. Soneji kills FBI agent Roger Graham and soon after Goldberg’s body is found. Cross is now in deep over his head in his first case featuring Gary Soneji.
This book is brilliantly put together. The main person in the kidnapping apart from Soneji I did work out but it is by no means obvious. It is a great little mystery excellently written and from this first book it is easy to see how interest was brought to this amazing series starting with book one. It’s a very addictive read which you’ll find hard to put down.
This book covers many important topics like interracial relationships with Cross’ and Flannagan’s relationship, race in general and class. In this book we get a great introduction to Cross, his family, his life, his investigating methods and his integrity as a person and in his job. The background on all the characters is great. We get very complex, rounded characters which help make the book very interesting. The plot combined with Patterson’s signature fast chapters is a wonderful read and having read other books in the series it was great to get to read how it all began.
A fantastic must-read.
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The Quickie (2007) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is a wonderful and engrossing read.
Following the story of protagonist cop Lauren Stillwell, we as readers get to know her very well in both her personal and professional life. After seeing her husband Paul with a blonde woman who she thinks he might be cheating on her with she embarks on revenge by having her own affair with fellow cop Scott. But their night of passion soon turns into a nightmare when she witnesses Paul and Scott fighting before Paul puts an unconscious Scott into the boot of his car. When Scott’s body is found later Lauren is left in the unenviable position of having to go against her instincts as a person and a cop to protect her husband and their future together.
I loved the drama of this book. It was a read that kept me turning the page. The plot I found very intriguing. Instead of a cop on a case trying to find the truth, Lauren was a cop on a mission to stop the truth from coming out and you really feel the pressure she must be under throughout. I also found it really interesting reading about the human element of Lauren and Paul trying to have a baby and Lauren’s pain and struggles to get pregnant. On the downside the outcome was predictable and I think it has been done before and I did feel that Lauren was being constantly given excuses for the things she did wrong like cheating. It would have made her more human for me if she had the affair for no reason other than she wanted to. While I loved the element of her covering for Paul which created a lot of suspense, some of it was slightly contrived as there was moments where she should have been caught out really.
Despite these downsides, I really enjoyed the book. The quick pace of the short chapters helped make it unputdownable and there was many twists and turns throughout. There was great pieces in this book about unconditional love, betrayal and finding strength under difficult circumstances. A very good read.
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You may remember if you have been following my blog for a while that I started a series called Pansexuality & … Well this is the second part! 🙂 I plan on it being a 10-part series. This part is all about Pansexuality & Dating as the title suggests so let’s get to it …
As you can imagine dating can be a little more daunting for someone who is pan (or in the middle of the sexuality spectrum in general) and there is weirdly both pros and cons to that. It often comes from prejudice. Prejudices (and myths) like to mention a few old chestnuts:
- Pansexual people are “sluts” or promiscuous.
- Pansexual people can’t be faithful, be monogamous or can’t fall in love or be in a committed relationship/marriage.
- Pansexual people are “on the fence”, “going through a phase” and will soon settle for a binary sexuality.
- Pansexual people can give you a sexual disease due to their “sexual appetite”.
- Pansexuality isn’t normal and a pansexual is weird.
Minus pansexuality is abnormal, to deny all of the above for all pansexuals would be very wrong. But the same is true of anybody of any sexuality. People are individual and their sexuality is absolutely no indication of what their ideas about any of the above will be. So that’s a lot of what’s behind many peoples’ reasons for not dating a pansexual.
So what do I think of people who won’t date someone because they are pansexual?
I find that a complicated question to answer. Mainly because there is usually two responses by many people to that question. On one side you get the personal taste argument and on the other you get the everyone who won’t is prejudiced. I’m kind of in the middle (some things never change! :-)). I think it’s personal taste when there is no prejudice reason behind it. If it’s a natural feeling coming from a natural place I find absolutely nothing wrong with that. But to be honest I don’t think of these people as fully the sexuality they often say they are. I put half in front of whatever sexuality they use because I think that if for example a guy says he’s heterosexual and yet he leaves out meeting a woman from a certain group or certain of groups of women it’s like saying you love a big bar of chocolate and you only like a few squares. And that goes for any sexuality including my own in my eyes before anyone thinks I’m getting at straight people. So I find people who wouldn’t think they should put half in front of their sexuality and people with other prejudiced reasoning bigots. So as I said I’m in the middle. I don’t think the feeling is actually wrong but the reasoning often is and the level of respect towards another human being often is. Sometimes the feeling I get is that many of them think they are superior if I’m being honest and that may not always be the intention of the other person. I accept that but when half or something similar is not used it puts me personally on edge that women like me wouldn’t really count for them to be whatever sexuality. So it feels to me like I’m being dismissed as a woman. So that’s often the psychology behind why someone would feel someone was prejudiced in those circumstances. And everything I’ve put in this section goes for every situation including if a pansexual (or anyone in the middle) wouldn’t date a gay or straight person.
I sometimes feel quite nervous about entering the dating pool too often as a little pan. These kinds of attitudes are things which gay or straight people might encounter every now and again if even that. But it’s something a pansexual or anyone in the middle would encounter far more regularly. There is good people and people who aren’t half whatever out there but there’s a lot who aren’t. Now with a bigot I’d rather just get out of there as fast as possible because they ain’t worth my time sunshine but I would like to communicate with people who aren’t coming from a prejudiced view/s and are simply halvers (I say that affectionately) because there’s often terrible communication in these situations and neither person has set out to hurt each other and unintentionally they do as things spiral out of control because they don’t communicate. But someone does need to inform you they are a halver or in whatever words they want to use to express that because I personally wouldn’t ask someone out that because I wouldn’t know how they’d react. It’s a dangerous question to ask in other words and different people would react to it in very different ways. In other words I could be friends with someone who is a halver but I need to know they respect me enough to know that I would count for them to be full in their sexuality.
This section is not about halvers and focuses on the bigoted ones. The upside of being pan in dating or being in many minority groups in general is that you are more likely not to end up with a narrow-minded bigot. You might have more awkward moments along the way but you are more likely to end up with an open-minded person and that’s one of the beautiful qualities I’d love to find in my future love of my life whatever their gender or sexual orientation.
For part one of my series Pansexuality & … Explaining go to:
Taline & Sirvat
Every day Taline wondered where they had taken her little girl Sirvat. Sirvat had been born with Down Syndrome. She had been taken away to an institution three years ago. Since then Taline had been endlessly trying to find her. As she washed the dishes her tears mingled with the water. It had just been the two of them since Taline’s husband had upped and left when he realised Sirvat had a disability. Taline remembered how she and Sirvat would go to the park and feed the ducks, how she would read her daughter bedtime stories and they would watch TV together with popcorn.
She is a bright, wonderful girl. How dare they just take her away like she should be hidden away? They are stopping her childhood with me and her bright, wonderful future. Why couldn’t I protect her from these vultures? I’m her mother, she depended on me.
In response to the What Pegman Saw writing prompt:
The Curse (2018) by Jina S. Bazzar is the prequel to Bazzar’s debut novel Heir of Ashes and is a stunning introduction to the series.
In this book we follow the story of protagonist Yoncey Fosch who is the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh. He is a huge family man and sets about preventing his brother’s death from a plague. He agrees to help out his biggest enemy Queen Titania’s consort in exchange for his brother’s safety. But soon he finds himself in a huge dilemma and his family man instincts come into play again with devastating consequences.
In the first part we are given great background on the characters and the situation about to take place and it brings us perfectly with ease into the second part where we find drama and emotion brimming. The heartbreaking decision Fosch has to make without giving too much away pulled and shredded my heart in pieces and I had so much admiration for him. He was my favourite character. The emotions of the characters is gorgeously written and there is very varied characters who are all very rounded. The human dynamics are great. I was a little confused as to why the firstborn had to be female as opposed to male or non-binary as there is people in all genders who can give birth but I think what was meant was assigned female so I just took it as that and it wasn’t as confusing after that.
This is an excellent short read that you can read in one or two sittings and it really gets you wanting to read the first book in the series which at some stage I plan on doing. There is twists and turns aplenty in this book which is crafted stunningly. The writer is most definitely very talented. Recently I have been reading more Fantasy novels and this was another wonderful read from the genre. Sometimes the emotions and life side of books in the genre can be missing but not here. It is a brilliant read for Fantasy and non-Fantasy readers alike and I really enjoyed it.
A fantastic read.
To purchase The Curse by Jina S. Bazzar go to:
And for more about Jina S. Bazzar and her work go to:
Today is yet another historic day here in the Republic of Ireland.
We have voted yes on the Abortion Referendum here. It is such a fantastic day for human rights and freedom for trans men, cis women, non-binary people, intersex people and basically for anyone who can give birth. Now we have choice after a resounding victory in favour of amending the constitution. Today we stand together and I thank all the people who couldn’t be affected by this decision for coming out and standing with us by voting yesterday in favour of our choices. Thank you so much.
It was a very proud moment for me voting yes yesterday. After the madness of the stigma put on people for having abortions for so many years where people who did would be made out to be “murderers” and people faced 14 years in prison for having an abortion, this day is liberating and historic. Today, like the day of the Marriage Referendum result in 2015, I feel emotional and immensely proud of my country. I was terrified about the result as it’s such a divisive issue and I’m so relieved and happy today.
But today has much sadness in it too. I think of Savita Halappanavar who died in 2012 after been denied an abortion and hearing the crowd at Dublin Castle on the news chanting her name following the result, seeing people at the mural of her and seeing her father’s message was very emotional. Her husband and family are in my thoughts very much today.
Rest in peace Savita.
Search For Maylee (2017) by Didi Oviatt is a wonderfully gripping read about a very important issue.
This book follows the protagonist Autumn as she sets about finding her niece Maylee who went missing close to her graduation from high school three years ago. Autumn begins to try to find Craig who she believes is involved in her disappearance and moves to where it is now thought he lives. Along the way she meets a group of young men including a central character called Jeremy who has many secrets of his own. Their combined secrets make for a very complex and interesting friendship. Among all this mystery and crime there is also some romance with Chance who has been working on Maylee’s case.
The love Maylee and Autumn have for one another is wonderful. It reminds of me and my sister’s relationship where we always look out for each other and it really pulled at my heartstrings the awful situation which they found themselves in. It was really very emotive and takes you really on this journey with Autumn caring about what happens. I like Autumn’s romance with Chance. They seem to bounce off each other very well. I couldn’t help thinking after finishing this book that his name was quite poignant.
My favourite character in the book was Josie who is a young woman who Autumn rescues from Craig and the other men keeping her and many other young women captive. The scenes were really heartbreaking and emotional and I had so much admiration for the character. I also liked other aspects of her personality. In the few scenes she was in the book I found she was a gentle, strong character with a lot of empathy and they are qualities I really like in people. So I would love to read a book to see how her story and how her life panned out.
What I love about the writing in this book is that it is very detailed. We get great background about the characters and brilliant pictures of the various scenes are painted. I also think that it speaks about a very important issue and the dangers that, in this case, young women face in an often danger-filled world. The only flaw I have with this book is that it didn’t feel very suspenseful in a way to me. There was many twists and turns but far in advance of the end the reader is told who is involved and I think to be suspenseful one person at least who is involved should be held back until the end. The mystery in this book is more whether Maylee is alive or not as opposed who is involved.
A really gorgeously crafted book by a very talented writer. Great attention to detail and a book with a lot of heart and filled to the brim with the emotions that people feel about those close to them. A fantastic read.
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The book club sits for coffee.
“I don’t dislike gay people but I wouldn’t like my son to be.”, says Betty.
I’m a gay man and straightforward.
Betty’s a bigot.
I won’t get into this.
Oh god no!
It’ll turn into Dr. Phil or Jeremy Kyle. My fellow book club members won’t allow me and Betty to politely have this out. They’ll say it’s her generation, religion. If those old chestnuts fail, her childhood, how she may not have known love. Instead I look at the glass bowl, hold back my thoughts, say with a smile,
“Another Custard Cream Betty?”
My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:
For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:
David wanted to …
be like Jesus and walk on water,
play on the grass at Wembley,
be a big City lawyer
but for now he was sitting
in the sandpit at playschool
throwing a rant about his
For the secret keeper writing prompt #142:
(5) Words: | CITY | GRASS | PLAY | RANT | WATER |