Tag: Well-Edited

Adrian Baldwin – Stanley McCloud Must Die! | Review

Title: Stanley McCloud Must Die!

Author: Adrian Baldwin

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 368

Rating: 4*/5


Adrian Baldwin - Stanley McCloud Must Die!

Adrian Baldwin – Stanley McCloud Must Die!


The first thing I have to say about this book is that it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. When Baldwin calls it “dark comedy for grown ups”, he’s not wrong. In fact, his work reminds me of what Irvine Welsh would sound like if he tried to write a sitcom, and there are definitely references to Welsh’s work here right down to a Renton reference and a Scotsman called Dougie who gets up to all sorts of shenanigans.

There is a plot here, but the plot almost comes second to the characters, although both are a lot of fun here. It’s an odd book because there are basically two different story lines taking place at the same time. The first plot follows a chap called Stanley McCloud who’s diagnosed with a terminal illness and who makes a bet with a bookmaker that he’ll live to his next birthday. The problem is that she decides to try to kill him off early so she doesn’t have to pay up.

While all of this is happening, there’s also a second plot which follows a serial killer called the Head Honcho, and that’s kind of why I wanted to read this book. One of his victims is named after me and so I wanted to find out how I died. I wasn’t disappointed. I also read this as part of Todd and Dane’s Indie Readalong, which is an initiative I’m running with a friend over on YouTube.

All in all, this was a fun book and while it started to drag a little near the end, I think that’s just a byproduct of its length. For an indie book, it’s a startlingly well-written and well-edited work that, while it might not be for the mainstream, is a great addition to the indie landscape and one which deserves more readers. Sure, there are trigger warnings for pretty much everything imaginable, but that’s hardly surprising. I mean, I’ve read Baldwin’s work before and this was more of the same. A lot of fun – but also pretty much crazy.


Adrian Baldwin

Adrian Baldwin


Click here to buy Stanley McCloud Must Die!.


Annabel Kantaria – The One That Got Away | Review

Title: The One That Got Away

Author: Annabel Kantaria

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 462

Rating: 4*/5


Annabel Kantaria - The One That Got Away

Annabel Kantaria – The One That Got Away


Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This one left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s well-written, well-edited and well-presented, and it does feature a story line that basically forces the reader to keep on turning page after page to see what happens next. But on the other hand, it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s basically Gone Girl, repackaged to fit a British audience. So it’ll probably sell a lot of copies and become a critical success, and my own feelings as a reader are effectively moot. Still, I’ll have a go.

Basically, this book follows the story of what happens when a successful businesswoman goes to her high school reunion and bumps into her old flame, who now happens to be a wealthy businessman and successful philanthropist. He still likes her and he makes a move, even though he’s married, and you’ll have to read the book to find out the rest because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

The reason it’s like Gone Girl is that the male and female leads are both manipulative, and that brings me on to the same problem with this book that I also had with Gone Girl – neither of the main characters are likeable, which makes it hard for me to care what happens to them. I mean, they do some awful things to each other – which people have a habit of doing – but I found it difficult to feel sorry for anyone. They all deserved what they got.


Annabel Kantaria

Annabel Kantaria


I also thought that the ending was a little rushed, and while it does wrap the story up, it comes almost out of nowhere. It felt a bit like I’d powered through the book only to get to the end and find out that the whole thing was a dream. It was just too quick, too neat and too unbelievable, although I can also understand why the author did it in the way that she did.

But despite all this, I can’t award it anything less than a 4/5, and the reason for that is simple. Whether it’s derivative or not, it’s still well-written, well-paced and plenty easy to read. I got through it in a day, and it’s simply that kind of book – the kind that you might read once and then forget about. If you asked me about it in a week’s time, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the characters were called. But if you’re looking for a book to read on the beach or while on holiday, it’ll do nicely.


Annabel Kantaria

Annabel Kantaria


Click here to buy The One That Got Away.


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