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Very Nearly Dead

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My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a horrendous crime. As members of the gang start being killed one by My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a horrendous crime. As members of the gang start being killed one by one, Jasmine fears for her life. Desperate to uncover who is responsible for the murders, Jasmine starts to investigate. But can she uncover the truth before it’s too late?


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My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a horrendous crime. As members of the gang start being killed one by My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a horrendous crime. As members of the gang start being killed one by one, Jasmine fears for her life. Desperate to uncover who is responsible for the murders, Jasmine starts to investigate. But can she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

30 review for Very Nearly Dead

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    VERY NEARLY DEAD is a debut psychological suspense novel by a husband and wife, A. K. Reynolds. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret that is coming back to haunt her. Everyone has something to hide… At the age of 16 she was a member of a gang of youths. The gang attacked a boy and his girlfriend. The boy was killed in the attack, and girl was so badly injured that she fell into a coma and never recovered. Jasmine, although present during the attack, didn’t hurt VERY NEARLY DEAD is a debut psychological suspense novel by a husband and wife, A. K. Reynolds. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret that is coming back to haunt her. Everyone has something to hide… At the age of 16 she was a member of a gang of youths. The gang attacked a boy and his girlfriend. The boy was killed in the attack, and girl was so badly injured that she fell into a coma and never recovered. Jasmine, although present during the attack, didn’t hurt anyone. She has concealed the crime for eighteen years out of fear of retribution if she talks. But now as members of the gang start being killed one by one, Jasmine fears for her own life. Jasmine must un cover the truth before it is too late to find out who is responsible for the murders. Will she be the next target? This book started off a little slow for my liking, but got more gripping later when more secrets were revealed on a need-to-know basis, and we got to hear from the killer. The ending was a total surprise and not one I saw coming. Many thanks to the author, Bloodhound books for my digital copy of this crime fiction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    3.5 Stars They were a group of seven teenagers, lead by a bully named Seth. The gang committed a horrible crime and they were all threatened to never, ever tell ... or suffer the consequences. Jasmine Black was one of those teenagers. She's been hiding the terrible truth for almost 20 years ...and has never told a soul. She's a criminal defense attorney who feels guilt and anger over defending the criminals. Being an alcoholic, her preferred beverage is red wine ... a lot of red wine. Someone has 3.5 Stars They were a group of seven teenagers, lead by a bully named Seth. The gang committed a horrible crime and they were all threatened to never, ever tell ... or suffer the consequences. Jasmine Black was one of those teenagers. She's been hiding the terrible truth for almost 20 years ...and has never told a soul. She's a criminal defense attorney who feels guilt and anger over defending the criminals. Being an alcoholic, her preferred beverage is red wine ... a lot of red wine. Someone has tried to kill Jasmine by drugging her drink. She lost control of her car afterwards, hit a post ... and a young boy, instantly killing him. So what does she choose to do? She could call the police, but they'd get her for drunk driving and vehicular homicide. She'd lose her job, shame her family. Instead, she leaves the boy where he is and drives home without calling anyone. It is sometime later that she hears about other members of the old gang being killed off ... one by one. Jasmine now fears for her own life... and starts her own investigation. Who has reason to want these people dead? Jasmine finds that looking for a killer means she has to face her past ... and present ... demons. I wasn't enthralled with the first few chapters, as it's like a tape playing and re-playing in a loop. The character of Jasmine is not one of likeability. I got a bit tired of reading the same thing .. how much wine she buys, how much wine she drinks, dealing with blackouts and forgetting what happened the day before ... repeat, repeat, repeat. It did get much more interesting as secrets are exposed and the voice of the killer is heard. The ending was unpredictable ... and quite a surprise. Many thanks to the author / Bloodhound books for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, the opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Col

    Synopsis/blurb.... EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO HIDE... "An ending that you will never see coming; just brilliant." "a book to be devoured in one sitting because you won’t want to put it down." My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a Synopsis/blurb.... EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO HIDE... "An ending that you will never see coming; just brilliant." "a book to be devoured in one sitting because you won’t want to put it down." My name is Jasmine Black, and I'm an ordinary woman apart from three things: I’m hiding a terrible secret from my youth My past is catching up with me When it does, I’ll be dead. Jasmine Black, a 34-year-old alcoholic, criminal lawyer, has a secret. At the age of 16, she was in a gang of youths that committed a horrendous crime. As members of the gang start being killed one by one, Jasmine fears for her life. Desperate to uncover who is responsible for the murders, Jasmine starts to investigate. But can she uncover the truth before it’s too late? ---------- My take.... A fast-paced read concerning events from the past catching up with an alcoholic lawyer and her old school friends. Maybe not so much friends these days, more a group of acquaintances bound together by a shared secret - their joint involvement in the death of a lad nearly twenty years previously. Every year they connect at a school re-union more to ensure that lips are sealed and the secret is intact, as opposed to any great fondness for each other. Jasmine is our main character and she's been unable to escape from her past. Not especially sympathetic, she is a functioning alcoholic, though as the book progresses her abilities to function diminish. The bottle holds an overwhelming attraction for her. Certain recent events - a car accident and the death of one of the old gang initially - more to follow - and some unusual threats combined with blackouts and lost passages of time, see her descend deeper into a spiral of addiction. Setting aside the storyline for a minute, its never easy spending time in the company of an addict. As Jasmine's tale progresses, I kind of flip-flopped between sadness, disgust, disappointment and anger at her plight...... self-inflicted and out of control for sure, who would willingly go down that destructive path? The story was interesting and the author(s) kind of hoodwinked me into believing one thing was going on, when in fact there was a lot more happening. Similarly I was tricked regarding my suspicions of the culprit. I actually changed my mind several times, but neither of them were accurate. Not too long, a South London setting, with a brief excursion to my old Luton stomping grounds, lots happening though you only get a full comprehension at the finish, unsympathetic characters throughout though not despicable enough to bump you out of the story. Lots to like and I'll be interested to see what comes next. 4 from 5 A.K. Reynolds is a husband and wife writing team. I've read the male half before* under a couple of different names. The better half was a new-to-me author. Read - September, 2019 Published - 2019 Page count - 238 Source - review copy from publisher - Bloodhound Books Format - Kindle MOBI read on laptop *Jack Strange - Manchester Vice (2017), Dirty Noir (2017) *Jack D. McLean - Confessions of an English Psychopath (2016) https://col2910.blogspot.com/2019/09/...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Very Nearly Dead is a cracking psychological thriller with a truly captivating plot that will have you rumbling through the pages at breakneck pace. This is what I like to call the "one-sitting spectacular" as once you become gripped and addicted putting it down at any time but when the story is complete is simply not a viable option! It's an entertaining and very cleverly written debut novel and a cross between domestic noir and psychological thriller with a flawed woman at its centre. The Very Nearly Dead is a cracking psychological thriller with a truly captivating plot that will have you rumbling through the pages at breakneck pace. This is what I like to call the "one-sitting spectacular" as once you become gripped and addicted putting it down at any time but when the story is complete is simply not a viable option! It's an entertaining and very cleverly written debut novel and a cross between domestic noir and psychological thriller with a flawed woman at its centre. The writing style pulls you in and holds onto you for dear life for the whole book and the plot revolves around criminal lawyer Jasmine Black who is hiding a dark and disturbing secret from her past. The story unravels and Jasmine finds her life may be in danger for what she did on that fateful day years ago whilst with friends. Of course, it makes use of some familiar thriller tropes, such as the investigator being a flawed individual and very often an alcoholic, but it certainly isn't easy find a concept that hasn't been done before, and I still enjoyed it enough to rate it highly. It also took me a little longer than usual to get into as it has quite a pedestrian start, but I urge you to continue as it picks up and from there onwards, the pace and tension were both ratcheted up dramatically. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that you will definitely not be able to correctly predict the conclusion. I look forward to reading more from this husband and wife team as this is a solid and gripping debut. Many thanks to Bloodhound Books for an ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    What would you do if you were forced to carry a terrible secret with you for two decades, knowing that your life would be in danger if you breathed a word of what you knew? Jasmine Black chose to bury herself in her work and, when that proved not to be enough, slowly began to drown herself in a sea of alcohol. I would like to give you more and describe the aspects of this book I enjoyed, but anything I say could, and probably would, reveal pieces of the plot and spoil the experience. I found it What would you do if you were forced to carry a terrible secret with you for two decades, knowing that your life would be in danger if you breathed a word of what you knew? Jasmine Black chose to bury herself in her work and, when that proved not to be enough, slowly began to drown herself in a sea of alcohol. I would like to give you more and describe the aspects of this book I enjoyed, but anything I say could, and probably would, reveal pieces of the plot and spoil the experience. I found it different and interesting that, overall, while I could identify with Jasmine and the other characters, I can’t say that I liked any of them. The authors illuminated the dark side of Jasmine and her friends, and while this could have backfired, I thought the conflicting emotions I felt added to the book. Even though I won’t say more on the plot, I will share this: “Very Nearly Dead” is a psychological thriller that will surprise you, and usually not when you expect. Although I felt the authors (A.K. Reynolds being a pen name) took more time than necessary fleshing out the character of Jasmine Black in the beginning, once the story began to take off it continued at a fast clip all the way to the end. Definitely a book I will recommend. Four stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adele Shea

    What a book! What a twist! Quite simply a must read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Honestmamreader

    Our introduction to Jasmine Black is very dramatic. She is driving home from another stressful day at work, she has popped into the pub for a quick drink. There then follows an event that spirals her life deeper into an abyss. I will admit that this initial introduction to the character of Jasmine made me really dislike her. I couldn’t believe a woman with such a high-flying job could stoop so low and show no remorse for her actions. She kept saying how much family meant to her, but this didn’t Our introduction to Jasmine Black is very dramatic. She is driving home from another stressful day at work, she has popped into the pub for a quick drink. There then follows an event that spirals her life deeper into an abyss. I will admit that this initial introduction to the character of Jasmine made me really dislike her. I couldn’t believe a woman with such a high-flying job could stoop so low and show no remorse for her actions. She kept saying how much family meant to her, but this didn’t show up much when thinking of others. I won’t divulge what she has done in that first chapter that made her so dislikeable to me, that is for you to pick up a copy for yourself and find out. However, as the description points out Jasmine has a secret from her past. So, now not only is she dealing with her actions from the first chapter we realise she is also harbouring something from a very dark past. And, this is catching up with her very quickly. This debut novel by a husband and wife writing team is filled with mystery, suspense and thrills. Despite not liking Jasmine I still wanted to know what happens to her. The gang she hung round with in her youth are dying off one by one. Will she be next? Frankly, at some points I did hope she would be next on the hit list. But, that’s just my warped mind. The story is told from a first person narrative. Jasmine is sharing with us the reader her day to day experiences, we get to uncover the mysteries and secrets of her past throughout the story. However, Jasmine is an alcoholic and has black outs making her an unreliable character and harder to trust her version of events. But, I think this style is perfect for this story as we are constantly left guessing. The story develops beautifully, we are drip fed only enough information to keep us on our toes and wanting more. There was a jaw dropping moment where we got to find out a crucial element, and this blew my thoughts of Jasmine completely out of the water. A tension filled page turner of an ending just tops off this book to a tee. Thank you to Bloodhound Books for allowing me to take part in this blog blitz, and gifting me an ARC copy in exchange of an honest review. And also thank you to @akreynoldswrite for the amazing well written story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philomena Callan Cheekypee

    This is a debut novel by a husband and wife. Jasmine Black is an alcoholic lawyer who’s life is falling down around her. Her past is coming back to haunt her and as each of the people involved in an incident many years ago are dying will she be next? Although I didn’t find this a gripping read I did enjoy it. Towards the end it did step up. Looking forward to reading more from this duo in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    Jasmine Black is a lawyer, she is also an alcoholic. One evening, driving home she knocks someone down and kills him…and worried about losing her job, she leaves the scene. She expects the be arrested at any time, but as the days go by, she begins to wonder if the guy wasn’t dead after all….her memory is a bit all over the place. She then goes to her school reunion and after meeting up with her old ‘gang’….and memories of a past event still haunt her, the guilt is causing her to drink even more…… Jasmine Black is a lawyer, she is also an alcoholic. One evening, driving home she knocks someone down and kills him…and worried about losing her job, she leaves the scene. She expects the be arrested at any time, but as the days go by, she begins to wonder if the guy wasn’t dead after all….her memory is a bit all over the place. She then goes to her school reunion and after meeting up with her old ‘gang’….and memories of a past event still haunt her, the guilt is causing her to drink even more……with more memory lapses her life really is on a downward spiral. What is the secret that someone will kill to keep hidden? This is a twisty tale full of tension, so fraught it will have your own nerves jangling. Twisty dark and completely unputdownable. Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Read

    Jasmine Black is 34 years old and works as a defence solicitor, mostly helping low life criminals avoid conviction for their offences. She is starting to realise it's not a great career in terms of self esteem but it pays the bills. She is also a raving alcoholic, periodically suffering blackouts although recently she has taken steps to seek help from Alcoholics Anonymous. Aged 16, she was part of a gang of rather unsavoury kids at school led by a nasty piece of work called Seth, and under his Jasmine Black is 34 years old and works as a defence solicitor, mostly helping low life criminals avoid conviction for their offences. She is starting to realise it's not a great career in terms of self esteem but it pays the bills. She is also a raving alcoholic, periodically suffering blackouts although recently she has taken steps to seek help from Alcoholics Anonymous. Aged 16, she was part of a gang of rather unsavoury kids at school led by a nasty piece of work called Seth, and under his direction they attacked a young couple, killing the boy and putting his girlfriend in a long lasting coma. Although Jasmine didn't actually hurt anyone she was present and did nothing to help, making her equally guilty in her own eyes. Eighteen years later the gang are still in touch and protecting the secret between themselves, all worried that one of them might crack and reveal the truth one day. At their annual school reunion one of the gang is killed. As more of them are targeted and die in suspicious circumstances Jasmine feels threatened and fears for her own life, but it looks like time could run out unless she can find out who is behind the deaths. I really didn't like Jasmine, the main character, and so wasn't too bothered what happened to her in the end. She was inconsistent, pleading poverty and buying clothes from Oxfam but then drawing out a large amount of cash with no problem and spending a small fortune on taxis and booze. She had no sense of self preservation, getting drunk and not even knowing how she got home, and even with her past, it was a little hard to credit that a law abiding solicitor could believe herself capable of covering up a serious crime. It was also a bit odd that she had a family that she obviously cared about, but never phoned or visited them, nor did she seek their help with her alcohol problems. The story got a bit repetitive in places, mainly covering her excessive drinking and hangovers, but finally the action got going towards the end of the book and it became more interesting. I would have liked a bit more suspense and a more believable lead character. It was satisfying to have guessed who the culprit was before the ending (although the field was a bit limited by then) and there were no silly twists but no big shocks either. On the plus side everything was well explained and most of the loose ends were tied up nicely. 3.5*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    This is a good read that centres around an incident from the past and how it still overshadows many people’s lives. Jasmine Black is an alcoholic who is struggling to keep her life together. She represents guilty criminals and part of her job is to get them off the criminal charge - and she’s had enough. She goes for a drink on the way home one day and while driving back hits someone and kills them. Jasmine struggles with herself not knowing whether to call the Police as she feels drunk, but can’ This is a good read that centres around an incident from the past and how it still overshadows many people’s lives. Jasmine Black is an alcoholic who is struggling to keep her life together. She represents guilty criminals and part of her job is to get them off the criminal charge - and she’s had enough. She goes for a drink on the way home one day and while driving back hits someone and kills them. Jasmine struggles with herself not knowing whether to call the Police as she feels drunk, but can’t understand it as she only had one drink. She flees the scene and then gets eaten up with guilt and her work suffers as she can’t cope. At a school reunion, she meets up with her old friends but one by one, those that know the secret all start to suffer mysterious deaths. Jasmine is worried and starts to wonder if she was meant to die in the accident that night too. The last part of the book kicks up a gear and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Bloodhound Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Debut novel with a surprising twist. It will keep you in suspense and guessing until the end. Fast paced read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karolyn

    This book was a fantastic read and once I started, I found it addictive, I didn’t want to put the book down! It was set in London. It’s a storyline that seems unique and I don’t remember having come across before, extremely well written and thought out. Jasmine Black is a criminal lawyer but she hates her job. She is hiding a terrible secret from her past which appears to be catching up with her. If she mentions a word about it, she will be dead. One night after being called out to a police This book was a fantastic read and once I started, I found it addictive, I didn’t want to put the book down! It was set in London. It’s a storyline that seems unique and I don’t remember having come across before, extremely well written and thought out. Jasmine Black is a criminal lawyer but she hates her job. She is hiding a terrible secret from her past which appears to be catching up with her. If she mentions a word about it, she will be dead. One night after being called out to a police station on her way back home, she has a quick drink in the pub but something terrible happens. She hits someone with her car and then hits a lamp post. When she gets out he’s dead. Oh god, what has she done? But she only had one drink, didn’t she? What is she going to do? What about her job? She looks around. An old warehouse behind her, some houses down the road, a car with its headlights on. Is its driver in the car? Then the car drives off, maybe they won’t report her, she gets back in her car and drives off. She puts her car in the garage and gets indoors. She went to bed fully clothed and had a sleep filled with nightmares. When she woke, the lights were on and the curtains were drawn, what was going on? She has a coffee and finally checks the messages on her mobile, the first one was from her secretary on Wednesday 24th January 11.30am, the second one was Thursday 25th January 9.50am, but that was impossible, it was only Wednesday, wasn’t it? Then she got a text from Kylie who she couldn’t ignore, not since that terrible incident when they were sixteen. I replied to Kylie then started to resolve my problem with the car. It’s come round to the night of the school reunion which I have been dreading, I dressed casually in a pair of jeans with a low cut top and put my hair up. I ordered an uber which was going to be ten minutes so opened my final bottle of red wine and poured a good measure into my glass, taking modest sips till it was time to leave. When I got to the reunion, there was a lot of people there already but I set my sights on the bar and with a cheery wave here and there off I went, until I got stopped by Seth. He took me to the bar and ordered drinks for us but I wanted to be away from him asap. We spoke till Kylie took his attention away. Charlie came over and we spoke then grabbed a drink at the bar. Seth was at the other end of the bar. Charlie was drinking heavily, he wanted to talk. When I stole a look at Seth, he was staring at Charlie and me with his cold, dead eyes. It scared me now, like it did way back as teenagers. ‘Don’t spill your guts, Charlie’, I whispered. ‘Not to me, to anyone. If you do and word gets back to Seth-’. ‘You wouldn’t tell Seth’, Charlie asked. ‘No I wouldn’t, but you don’t want to get into bad habits. They could kill you.’ ‘What sort of bad habits?’, asks Seth. He had crept up behind us without us realising it. ‘Drinking too much. You can have too much of a good thing’, I said. Seth looked at us and raised his eyebrows.’I’m not sure you should give that advice and I’m not sure I believe you. You two better behave yourselves or I will have a word.’ Seth moves away. Charlie orders the drinks and we wander off to find a table or something. Charlie is sweating when we sit down and takes his jacket off. ‘I’ve been keeping things to myself all this time, but you know something? The game’s up’, he mumbles very drunkenly. His glass seemed very full and he’s mumbling so much I can’t understand him. Then he says ‘about barsh?’ ‘Need another drink’, he says getting to his feet, staggering backwards he just manages to stop himself from falling, ‘closhe’, he says. He takes another couple of steps, then collapsed face down on the floor. He made no attempt to get up. Something wasn’t right, I rushed to his side, dropped to my knees and pushed him onto his back. He was lifeless. ‘Help’, I shouted. ‘Let me through, I’m a doctor’. Raymond Wells was in our year at school. He felt for a pulse then started CPR. Someone else called for an ambulance. ‘It’s no use. He’s dead’. Charlie is dead.’ I got into this book straight away and read it quite quickly which I like. It’s a very unique storyline and an insight into alcoholism which does affect a few people and can creep up unawares. I rated this 4 out of 5 stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Very nearly dead I'm not sure what to say about this. The main character is an alcoholic selfish despicable person and to be honest most of the time I hoped the killer would catch up with her and finish the job! Jasmine has a secret from her past, and then accidentally runs over a young man and kills him, but decides to drive away from the scene of the crime, despite being a solicitor. The book only becomes vaguely interesting when this big secret is revealed. Until then it's all following Very nearly dead I'm not sure what to say about this. The main character is an alcoholic selfish despicable person and to be honest most of the time I hoped the killer would catch up with her and finish the job! Jasmine has a secret from her past, and then accidentally runs over a young man and kills him, but decides to drive away from the scene of the crime, despite being a solicitor. The book only becomes vaguely interesting when this big secret is revealed. Until then it's all following jasmine getting drunk every single day, getting fired, not making any effort to find another or sort her life out despite being in her early 30's. She speaks often of her family, but at no point have any contact with them, even when she'd scared and feels her life is in danger. They don't visit and notice her out of control alcoholism or that she's been fired from her job. I can't get passed these flaws. It really irritated me the whole time it was reading it. I felt it was fairly obvious who the baddie was. The last chapter or 2 were ok, and everything tied up nicely but the lead up so drawn out and the main character so annoying it wasn't worth it for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    “Would you do the right thing?" Jazmine Black is a solicitor for a small firm, and represents those who are always guilty. It’s not the type of people she wants to be representing, and it doesn’t even pay that well, but it’s a job; a means to an end, and she gets by. Then one night she is involved in an accident. What should she do? Call the police, or hide the evidence and try and pretend it didn’t happen. Everything is at stake! Plus she knows she must be well over the limit! The next few days “Would you do the right thing?" Jazmine Black is a solicitor for a small firm, and represents those who are always guilty. It’s not the type of people she wants to be representing, and it doesn’t even pay that well, but it’s a job; a means to an end, and she gets by. Then one night she is involved in an accident. What should she do? Call the police, or hide the evidence and try and pretend it didn’t happen. Everything is at stake! Plus she knows she must be well over the limit! The next few days she waits on tenderhooks to hear about a local hit and run, and waiting for a knock on the door from the police, but nothing! Could he still be alive! ? But there is something even darker from her past! And her past coming back to haunt her! Is someone out to get her, and will they succeed before she destroys herself as she spirals into the depths of alcoholism through her need of red wine. As her lapses in memory and her lapses of time are getting worse, what is happening? This was clever, really clever. Brilliant writing. An ending that you will never see coming; just brilliant.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Matheson

    Jasmine Black is an alcoholic lawyer who is struggling to keep her life together and while driving home one evening , knocks down a guy and kills him. Although she is almost positive that she didn’t have anything to drink beforehand, she wakens the next morning to what appears to be a hangover. When she tries to retrace what has happened, her car is certainly dented but there is no body ..... so what has happened? At a school reunion, she meets up with the old school gang that she hung about Jasmine Black is an alcoholic lawyer who is struggling to keep her life together and while driving home one evening , knocks down a guy and kills him. Although she is almost positive that she didn’t have anything to drink beforehand, she wakens the next morning to what appears to be a hangover. When she tries to retrace what has happened, her car is certainly dented but there is no body ..... so what has happened? At a school reunion, she meets up with the old school gang that she hung about with – the same ones that beat a boy to death and put his girlfriend in a coma. One by one, they all start to have mysterious deaths, and by now Jasmine is wondering if she was meant to die in the accident that night too. But who is chasing them after all this time? I have to say that I did struggle a bit with this book to begin with and a couple of the premises. It didn't always flow and there were some 'loose ends' that were never clarified. Overall 3.5* Thanks to Bloodhound Books for the ARC to review

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Very Nearly Dead by AK Reynolds starts out with Jasmine Black a solicitor driving her car home from a bar drunk and hits a former client, Sean Price. She almost calls the police, but since she is driving drunk she changes her mind and leaves the scene. This only the beginning of her problems. There is the class reunion coming up, and it isn't JUST a class reunion. She hates them but must go or else there are people that will come looking for her... and not in a friendly way. What happened in Very Nearly Dead by AK Reynolds starts out with Jasmine Black a solicitor driving her car home from a bar drunk and hits a former client, Sean Price. She almost calls the police, but since she is driving drunk she changes her mind and leaves the scene. This only the beginning of her problems. There is the class reunion coming up, and it isn't JUST a class reunion. She hates them but must go or else there are people that will come looking for her... and not in a friendly way. What happened in school that a secret is worth killing over to be kept? As the guilt builds in Jasmine, so does her alcohol consumption and the dislike for her job. Something has got to give, but what and what will the price be? There is a BIG twist I didn't believe when I read it, so I re-read it! Good job AK!!! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from Bloodhound Books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    A debut novel by a husband and wife team this book had me hooked within 2 paragraphs. Jaz, a solicitor who defends drug pushers and the like has a secret in her life from her school days when her and a group of friends are responsible for the death of a young boy. Deep down she is a good person but past events have turned her into an emotional drunken and emotional wreck. She is alone and reliving these secrets everyday. Every year the group meet at a school reunion but an event happens at the A debut novel by a husband and wife team this book had me hooked within 2 paragraphs. Jaz, a solicitor who defends drug pushers and the like has a secret in her life from her school days when her and a group of friends are responsible for the death of a young boy. Deep down she is a good person but past events have turned her into an emotional drunken and emotional wreck. She is alone and reliving these secrets everyday. Every year the group meet at a school reunion but an event happens at the latest reunion which has devastating effects. This story has many twists and turns and if you think you know the outcome think again. You won’t see what’s coming. This is a book to be devoured in one sitting because you won’t want to put it down. I can’t wait for the next offering from these writers. I have voluntarily reviewed this book as an ARC reader for Bloodhound books

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paula Stammers

    A book that has plenty of twist and turns that will keep you turning the pages. Jasmine Black is a solicitor who is battling her alcohol addiction and also trying to forget an event that happened when she was a teenager. As her drinking gets worse Jasmine’s life starts to spiral out of control and it gets so bad she even has hours / days where she doesn’t remember anything that happened. Soon Jasmine realises that her past is coming back to haunt her but will she discover the truth before it’s A book that has plenty of twist and turns that will keep you turning the pages. Jasmine Black is a solicitor who is battling her alcohol addiction and also trying to forget an event that happened when she was a teenager. As her drinking gets worse Jasmine’s life starts to spiral out of control and it gets so bad she even has hours / days where she doesn’t remember anything that happened. Soon Jasmine realises that her past is coming back to haunt her but will she discover the truth before it’s too late ? If you enjoy mystery thrillers you will love this book. I have to admit I didn’t really warm to Jasmine but I don’t think that took away from the story at all, maybe she is a character you really are not particularly meant to like !! Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a digital copy of this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diane Warburton

    A slow start, thinking 'ok, what is going on here'. But I am never one just give up at the first chapter. Some books take time. This book is a slow boiler...but some things are better cooked that way. It does indeed get curiouser and curiouser. Very intriguing. The more you read, the more you want to. Quite a mystery it turned out to be. Had me guessing? Indeed it did. Was I right? Nooo! Makes for great reading when even up to the last chapter you haven't a clue....but you think you have. Quite A slow start, thinking 'ok, what is going on here'. But I am never one just give up at the first chapter. Some books take time. This book is a slow boiler...but some things are better cooked that way. It does indeed get curiouser and curiouser. Very intriguing. The more you read, the more you want to. Quite a mystery it turned out to be. Had me guessing? Indeed it did. Was I right? Nooo! Makes for great reading when even up to the last chapter you haven't a clue....but you think you have. Quite clever and got me on the edge of my seat as the tension grew. If you are one to give up early on, please don't...it is well worth the wait as the tension builds....and builds...and builds.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    A story written in first person by a husband and wife team. I enjoyed this book, like getting immersed in a story and this was no different. Jasmine is an alcoholic, who has an accident in her car one night, she hits someone, and, fearing she will be over the limit leaves the scene. She is just getting by with her job and her life when its reunion time again, with friends that meet up every year. All of her past is coming back to haunt her also and some of the people at the reunion are a part of A story written in first person by a husband and wife team. I enjoyed this book, like getting immersed in a story and this was no different. Jasmine is an alcoholic, who has an accident in her car one night, she hits someone, and, fearing she will be over the limit leaves the scene. She is just getting by with her job and her life when its reunion time again, with friends that meet up every year. All of her past is coming back to haunt her also and some of the people at the reunion are a part of that too. People start to die and Jasmine's head starts to freefall! Great ending that you will never see coming, I didn't! Thanks to Bloodhound books for the ARC in exchange for a review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danny Matheson

    This book about a solicitor who's life is unravelling before her as her guilty past starts catching up with her. The more guilty she feels the more alcohol she consumes and the more lapses in time she has. Her former school pals who all share the same guilty past start dying in suspicious circumstances as this story twists and turns. The book is written by a husband and wife team and unfortunately does not seem to run fluidly as each author appears to have different ideas in which way to go.. This book about a solicitor who's life is unravelling before her as her guilty past starts catching up with her. The more guilty she feels the more alcohol she consumes and the more lapses in time she has. Her former school pals who all share the same guilty past start dying in suspicious circumstances as this story twists and turns. The book is written by a husband and wife team and unfortunately does not seem to run fluidly as each author appears to have different ideas in which way to go.. Thank you to bloodhound books for the ARC

  23. 4 out of 5

    Holly Reynolds

    I thoroughly enjoyed Very Nearly Dead; so much so, that I couldn't put it down! I find that books in the first person always make me feel like I'm actually a part of the story and that keeps my interest. I'm usually itching to see what happens to 'me' or to discover what decisions 'I' will make to drive the story onward. This book gripped me from the beginning, and I couldn't wait to read on and see what events unfolded. Jasmine is a character who you manage to like, despite the alcoholism and her I thoroughly enjoyed Very Nearly Dead; so much so, that I couldn't put it down! I find that books in the first person always make me feel like I'm actually a part of the story and that keeps my interest. I'm usually itching to see what happens to 'me' or to discover what decisions 'I' will make to drive the story onward. This book gripped me from the beginning, and I couldn't wait to read on and see what events unfolded. Jasmine is a character who you manage to like, despite the alcoholism and her past questionable choices. This kept me hoping for a happy ending.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Rickard

    Very nearly dead A K Reynolds Where to start this this book. Intriguing with a plot and writing style that pulls you along in this fast paced drama. We follow Jasmin Black with a serious alcohol problem that just gets worse as she fights for the bad guys as a criminal lawyer with a nasty secret from her past following her and about to full on smash her in the face. Well written and good development of characters. A really enjoyable read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris Nolan

    Another new writer to me courtesy of Bloodhound Books, and another very enjoyable read. This is a well-written and well-paced novel that holds the interest throughout but it is not particularly original as it contains several tropes familiar to readers of crime fiction. When people are attacked and killed, it quickly becomes clear that they are concealing a secret from childhood and the final revelations are somewhat surprising.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ledora Mcclain

    Insane This book is totally different and absolutely Crazy. I was so confused I didn't know who did what and to whom they did it. I saw none of the situations coming and was unable to predict what happened next. Would I like to read more of this Author well at this point I'm not sure I will.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Greta Halliday

    A very cleverly written and entertaining thriller which once started I could not put down. Loved the storyline, it came as a welcome change from the usual run of the mill murder mysteries and look forward to reading more from this author. Thanks to Bloodhound Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen Graves

    Didn’t see that coming as an ending You know the books you read and you think you’ve got it figured out? Or the end is some random character you didn’t meet till they became the killer? This is not that book. Witty and well written with Jaz being very likable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Morven Bostock

    Overall a good read but the ending was very rushed. A good story line with interesting twists but the ending seemed a bit like a to do list being ticked off: answered that, that and that, done.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miki Jacobs

    I was a bit confused midway through this book with the narrative…but that becomes clearer as you read on. The ending was a “I didn’t see that coming!”. It took a while to get into and the lead character was very annoying, but overall a good story.

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