29 Dec 2015


Introducing Dexter Morgan, a serial killer to fall in love with...Dexter Morgan isn't exactly the kind of man you'd bring home to your mum. At heart, he's the perfect gentleman: he has a shy girlfriend, and seems to lead a quiet, normal life bordering on the mundane. Despite the fact that he can't stand the sight of blood, he works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. 

But Dexter also has a secret hobby: he is an accomplished serial killer. So far, he's killed 36 people and has never been caught because he knows exactly how to hide the evidence. And while that may lead some people to assume he's not such a nice guy, he tempers his insatiable hunger for brutality by only killing the bad guys. However, Dexter's well-organised life is suddenly disrupted when a second, much more visible serial killer appears in Miami. Intrigued that the other killer favours a style similar to his own, Dexter soon realises that the mysterious new arrival is not simply invading his turf but offering him a direct invitation to 'come out and play'...

I've been a massive fan of the TV series Dexter, bingeing for a sad amount of hours on Netflix, for quite a while and a fellow bookseller has been harassing me to read the series because I'd love them.

And I did. It's quick witted, darkly hilarious and just.... brilliant. I'm running out of adjectives. It isn't complicated in any way and the supporting cast aren't very well fleshed out but it's the first in a long series so all is forgiven.

I do have one confession to make though: I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I hadn't already seen the show. Having prior knowledge of the series allowed my imagination to flesh out the characters in a way the book doesn't. 

I don't have a lot to say about this. It's different to you standard serial killer novel, obviously, but it's the type of easy reading that can take a few hours away from your life before you realise, and I'm already hooked. If only the TBR pile wasn't so big....

15 Dec 2015


"I found Jean's friend dead in the river. His name was Colin Kirk. He was a homeless man, but he still wanted to live." There's been a murder, but the police don't care. It was only a homeless old man after all. Kieran cares. He's made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you're going to do it, for real. He's going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. 

It's a good job Kieran's a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade. But being a detective is difficult when you're Kieran Woods. When you're amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof.

Smart is the story of a young british boy with unnamed social difficulties who finds a homeless man drowned in a canal and in determined to find his killer.

Kieran's problems aren't apparent in his narrative, it's only from the reactions of these around him, and that he has a classroom helper, that marks him out from other children. He is kind, loyal, empathetic and, as the title suggests, extremely smart.

He is bullied by his mother's boyfriend, step-son, and children at his school. It is horrible and brutal.  found it really difficult to read, not just because of what happens to Kieran, but because her represents real children all over the country. He takes the beatings and the bullying in his stride though and keeps going. He draws incredible pictures, drawing from his complete love of Lowery (the painter). It helps him process what is happening around him that he doesn't immediately understand.

The writing is so beautifully simplistic, and the way Kieran thinks is perfectly portrayed. It makes us think - what can we do when we think completely 'normally', but don't act the way society wanted us to? I'd like to think I'd be his friend regardless of how he looked, just like Karwarna at his school.

It's such a small, understated book but it's beautiful.
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