Emotional · Prison story · Young adult

Moonrise – Sarah Crossan ★★★★★

Blurb; Seventeen-year-old Joe hasn’t seen his brother in ten years. Ed didn’t walk out on the family, not exactly. It’s something more brutal.

Ed’s locked up — on death row.

Now his execution date has been set, and the clock is ticking. Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with his brother, no matter what other people think … and no matter whether Ed committed the crime. But did he? And does it matter, in the end?

This poignant, timely, heartbreaking novel asks big questions: What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

My Review; This book didn’t just break my heart it tore it out and stomped all over it. Utterly heartbreaking. This one made me shed a tear. How cruel laws, lies and life can be. I would recommend this book to each and everyone of you. We can all take something away from reading this.

There are some big questions within this story which really make you think. Also the fact that what actually happened in this book still happens today around the world and how it doesn’t just affect one life, it creates a ripple and affects those around them. You really feel for each and every character in this story all experiencing the same thing but in different ways.

I don’t think I will ever be able to forget this story? It really is hard hitting and emotional. Highly recommend! A well deserved five stars and a place in my top twenty reads of the year.

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Non-Fiction · Prison story

*12 days of Clink Street* Veronica’s Bird – Veronica Bird & Richard Newman ★★★★★

Blurb; Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the Fifties as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty. However, a glimmer of hope revealed itself as she, astonishingly to her and her mother, won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her class-mates.

A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness. That was until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped from the frying pan into the fire.

He soon began to take control over her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as cheap labour on his market stall. Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away from him and applied to the Prison Service, intuiting that it was the only safe place she could trust.

Accepted into the Prison Service at a time when there were few women working in the industry, Veronica applied herself every day to learning her new craft even training in Holloway Prison where Myra Hindley was an inmate. With no wish to go outside the prison, Veronica remained inside on-duty. While her colleagues went out to the pub, the theatre or to dine she didn’t feel able to join them.

Her dedication was recognised and she rose rapidly in the Service moving from looking after dangerous women prisoners on long-term sentences to violent men and coming up against such infamous names as The Price sisters, Mary Bell and Charles Bronson. The threat of riots was always very close and escapes had to be dealt with quickly.

After becoming a Governor, Veronica was tasked with what was known within the Service as a ‘basket case’ of a prison. However, with her diligence and enthusiasm Veronica managed to turn it around whereupon it became a model example to the country and she was recognised with an honour from the Queen. With this recognition the EU invited her to lead a team to Russia and her time in Ivanovo Prison, north east of Moscow, provides an illuminating and humorous insight into a different prison culture.

My Review; I absolutely loved this book! I have always been fascinated about prisons, so this book was perfect. A little different from what I usually read as this is a non fiction book, a true story. But it’s brilliant!

As a true story you really get to know Veronica up close and personal, through the good and bad! She is a woman I admire with an interesting life story to tell. I was well and truelly hooked, I wanted to know everything about what this woman experienced and had to tell me especially inside of the prisons she worked in.

Parts will have you laughing, parts will make you gasp. Veronica is one extraordinary woman. I loved the photos included in the middle of the book making it more personal and a look into the history of how prisons were run and criminals dealt with (a lot has changed since then).

Beautifull written and told. Highly recommend. A story that is going to stick with me for a long time. A well deserved five stars from me.

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crime · mystery · Prison story · suspense · thriller

Locked Up – GB Williams ★★★★

Blurb; A prison officer and a convicted killer must work together to solve a brutal murder and expose conspiracy inside a prison.

Ariadne Teddington is surrounded by people who lie but that is to be expected when you work in prison where every man claims to be innocent.

Charlie Bell, an ex Detective, now finds himself in that prison serving time for murder after having taken the law into his own hands.

When a fellow inmate is killed Charlie is asked to investigate the case from the inside. Soon Charlie finds himself working with Ariande but she is a guard, he is an inmate and some lines should never be crossed…

Can two people on different sides of the law come together to solve the case?

And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

My Review; I am a big fan of prison stories and documentaries, so I knew before I even started this book that I would love it. Locked Up is book number one in The Locked trilogy. I also think the cover is gorgeous and grabs the readers eye.

Locked Up is written well, easy to read and fast paced! It has drama after drama after drama… There is always something going on to hold the readers interest throughout and an action packed ending. A very clever, interesting read. A great start to what I suppose will be an amazing trilogy!

I awarded a well deserved four stars, I am off to devour book two now (Locked In) I already know its going to be good! Highly recommend so far.