#BookReview - #BreakingBones by Robert White

The streets of Preston are alive with music and banter.

But nothing can drown out the sound of breaking bones.

Inseparable since childhood and feared by their community, Tony, Eddie and Frankie are beyond the reach of justice.

The brutal gang, The Three Dogs, are a law unto themselves.

Detective Jim Hacker has watched The Dogs grow from thuggish youths to psychotic criminals. He seems to be the only one who wants to see their empire fall.

Meanwhile Jamie Strange, a young Royal Marine, finds himself embroiled in the lives of The Three Dogs when his girlfriend, Laurie Holland, cuts off their engagement… to be with the most dangerous of The Dogs: Frankie Verdi.

Jamie vows to save Laurie, before Frankie damns them both.

Every dog will have its day.

This gritty, addictive crime story, fizzes with the energy of the eighties. 

Breaking Bones will appeal to fans of Martina Cole, Roberta Kray and Stephen Leather.

It's my pleasure to be reviewing Breaking Bones today, many thanks to the publishers a…

Book Review - The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell


Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

My 9yo daughter is now a fluent reader but we still enjoying sharing a good book together at bedtime and with her favourite animal being a wolf we were both looking forward to The Wolf Wilder. We weren't disappointed, this is a book that deserves to become a classic. It is exciting, beautifully descriptive, witty and never patronises its young audience. Feo is a wonderful protagonist, socially awkward, self deprecating yet honourable, brave and able to inspire revolution. The villain, General Rakov isn't a pantomime baddie, he is a sadistic and a genuinely chilling character. Katherine Rundell doesn't shy away from describing brutality nor death but never becomes gratuitous instead creating a tense, often dark but ultimately a very hopeful tale. The wolves themselves are of course the real heart of the story, they are neither the fairytale big bad wolves nor anthropomorphic pets. Although they have a strong relationship with Feo, and to a lesser extent with her friend, Ilya, the reader is left in no doubt that she is a part of their pack rather than their owner.
 Towards the end of the book Feo makes a stirring speech that in these troubled times feels more vital than ever, perhaps particularly so for children;
"But he's always been blind: he doesn't see the facts. The fact that there are more of us than there are of him. The fact that fire in your soul beats fire on the ground. The fact that love always beats fear."
I loved The Wolf Wilder but more importantly so did my daughter, in fact she has elevated it to the heady heights of her "best book ever!" I asked her what she particularly liked about it,
"I liked that the main character was a girl who was strong and brave, and even though she needed help from friends she wasn't weak. Her friends were amazed by what she could do. I don't want to read stories with girls always having to be the ones rescued but I don't want the boys being weak either. I like adventures where they work together. I also liked that the wolves were loyal but couldn't be controlled and were still wild. Also even though Rakov was really evil and did terrible things he inspired bravery in others. I think that's a really good message."

The Wolf Wilder is published in the UK by Bloomsbury


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