Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Craftsman – Sharon Bolton

Crime Fiction
5*s

Oh my! What a brilliant read! This has to be one of the scariest books I’ve read in a long while and yet there a few graphic scenes, what the author does is get into your mind and play with it.

Brilliantly the opening to this book is an author’s message to her readers – a lovely touch, which ends with these words:

The Craftsman is the story of women, and witches. Of the children we love and must protect. And of the men who fear us.

The Craftsman is mainly set right in 1969 when our protagonist WPC Florence Lovelady is visiting the mother of a missing girl of fifteen in the town of Sabden which lies in the shadow of Pendle Hill in the North-West of England. Florence is a strong, educated woman in what was back then, very much a man’s world. At the time we meet her as a young officer she is tagging along with the higher ranking Detective Constable Tom Devine as the superintendent thought a woman officer was a nice touch.

Now every good witch knows and consequently fears, Pendle in Lancashire which was where a number of witches were tried for witchcraft back in 1612. All admittedly a long time ago, but the history just adds to the superstitious small town community of Sabden which is coping with young people going missing gives legs to rumours and supposition. What this brilliant novel illustrates is how the charge of being a witch could all too easily be levelled against a woman, especially when a whole community feels as though nothing is going right, and what is going wrong is almost inconceivable.

I’m not revealing anything the synopsis doesn’t to say that teens were being buried alive in caskets, and nor I imagine do I have then have to explain quite how terrifying this book is. The setting of 1969, an age of comparative innocence, a fresh-faced, if far more intelligent than her superiors are prepared to admit, WPC it seems even more horrific that the murders are not only unusual, but particularly horrific.

Anyway good old Florence is determined to catch the perpetrator and thirty years later we meet her at the graveside of Larry Glassbrook a coffin maker. A man who has been imprisoned for the last thirty years. A man who Florence has visited over the years whilst she was climbing the slippery pole towards the glass ceiling. But, the case from the past is far from over and Florence is drawn back to the beginning of her career.

This novel is cleverly plotted with the parallels between the witches of the past and the present day happenings inevitably drawn, so subtlety and yet so powerful. I loved Florence and was rooting through her both in 1969 and 1999 her character clearly having developed in the intervening thirty years but her drive undiminished. Once again Sharon Bolton has created memorable and lifelike characters to populate one of the creepiest reads of the year. I strongly predict this book making it easily into the top ten reads of the year! Yes – I’m telling you all, you need to read this one, if you dare…

Sharon Bolton is so talented and as much as I loved her Lacey Flint series I have to confess I’ve loved her stand-alone novels even more, if that’s at all possible– you can take your pick from these as they are all shocking, gripping and oh so inventive.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the publishers Trapeze who allowed me to read an advance review copy of The Craftsman and to Sharon Bolton for keeping me up all night and caused my dreams in the nights since I read it to be filled with coffins and witches! This unbiased review is my thanks to them.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher:Trapeze
No of Pages: 432
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Fantastic Fiction by Sharon Bolton

Standalone Novels

Sacrifice (2008)
Awakening (2009)
Blood Harvest (2010)
Little Black Lies (2015)
Daisy In Chains (2016)
Dead Woman Walking (2017)

Lacey Flint Series

Now You See Me (2011)
If Snow Hadn’t Fallen (2012) Novella
Dead Scared (2012)
Like This Forever (2013)
A Dark and Twisted Tide (2014)
Here Be Dragons (2016) Novella

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 25)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

The last book I have read is Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell which combines the story of three characters in 1950s Manhattan.

‘Back in those days My Old Man was king of what they called the three-martini lunch. This meant that in dimly lit steakhouses all over Manhattan my father made bold, impetuous deals over gin and oysters. That was how it was done.’

Blurb

Cliff Nelson, the privileged son of a New York publishing house editor, is slumming it around Greenwich village in 1958, enjoying the booze, drugs and the idea that he’s the next Kerouac.

Fresh-faced Eden Katz arrives in New York with the ultimate ambition to become an editor, but she’s shocked at the stumbling blocks she encounters.

Miles Tillman, a black publishing house messenger boy, is an aspiring writer who feels he straddles various worlds and belongs to none.

Their choices, concealments and betrayals ripple outwards leaving none of them unchanged. Amazo

I’m currently reading a selection of books with my non-fiction read of the month being The Great Silence by Juliet Nicholson.

Blurb

Peace at last, after Lloyd George declared it had been ‘the war to end all wars’, would surely bring relief and a renewed sense of optimism? But this assumption turned out to be deeply misplaced as people began to realise that the men they loved were never coming home.

The Great Silence is the story of the pause between 1918 and 1920. A two-minute silence to celebrate those who died was underpinned by a more enduring silence born out of national grief. Those who had danced through settled Edwardian times, now faced a changed world. Some struggled to come to terms with the last four years, while others were anxious to move towards a new future.

Change came to women, who were given the vote only five years after Emily Davidson had thrown herself on the ground at Ascot race course, to the poor, determined to tolerate their condition no longer, and to those permanently scarred, mentally and physically, by the conflict. The British Monarchy feared for its survival as monarchies around Europe collapsed and Eric Horne, one time butler to the gentry, found himself working in a way he considered unseemly for a servant of his calibre. Whether it was embraced or rejected, change had arrived as the impact of a tragic war was gradually absorbed.

With her trademark focus on daily life, Juliet Nicolson evokes what England was like during this fascinating hinge in history. Amazon

Next I plan on reading Snap by Belinda Bauer. I’m a huge fan of this writer so I’m excited to read her latest book which is due to be published in eBook on 3 May 2018 with the hardcover coming out on 17 May 2018.

Blurb

SNAP DECISIONS CAN BE DANGEROUS . . .

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she’d said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. . . Amazon

 

What do you think? Do any of these books take your fancy, or perhaps you’ve already read them? Let me know what you think in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 24)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph of Crippen: A Novel by John Boyne which I’m listening to as an audio book. Regular readers of this blog will know I haven’t had a great deal of success with this format in the past, but I’m giving it another go in the hope that I can listen and knit at the same time. So far I’ve listened while walking and it’s going ok but I’m going to practice a little bit before adding anything more complex into the mix!

Blurb

July 1910: The grisly remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen, are discovered in the cellar of 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden. But the Doctor and his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, have vanished, much to the frustration of Scotland Yard and the outrage of a horrified London.

Across the Channel in Antwerp, the SS Montrose sets sail on its two week voyage to Canada. Amongst its passengers are the overbearing Antonia Drake and her daughter Victoria, who is hell-bent on romance, the enigmatic Mathieu Zela and the modest Martha Hayes. Also on board are the unassuming Mr John Robinson and his seventeen-year-old son Edmund. But all is not as it seems… Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

The Melrose

Antwerp: Wednesday, 20 July 1910

SHE WAS OVER 575 feet in length, with a beam almost an eighth of that size. She weighed approximately 16,500 tons and had a capacity of over eighteen hundred passengers, although today she was only three-quarters full. Stately and impressive, her hull and paintwork gleaming in the July sun, she seemed almost impatient to depart, her chimneys piping steam cautiously as the Scheldt river crashed noisily against her side. She was the SS Montrose, part of the Canadian Pacific fleet of passenger ships, and she was preparing to set sail from the Port of Antwerp in Belgium for the city of Quebec in Canada, some three thousand miles away.

I think you will agree this is a striking description of the SS Montrose but of course we want to meet the infamous Dr Crippen.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Don’t Make a Sound – David Jackson

Crime Fiction
5*s

David Jackson’s series featuring DS Nathan Cody is on my ‘must-read’ list and I was suitably thrilled to hear that he was making his third appearance on 3 May 2018.

This is one creepy book, no need for gruesome scenes for this author, instead he lets you imagine the worst from his well-chosen words.

A young girl, a mere six years of age, has disappeared from her bed and Nathan Cody is investigating. This investigation is high profile, no one wants to think that there is a child snatcher in the neighbourhood and yet it seems like whoever took Poppy was invisible as there is no trace. Yes no clues to follow and that means that Cody has to painstakingly follow a number of different theories simultaneously to see which one holds water.

We meet Poppy’s parents, Craig and Maria in the wake of her disappearance and we have Cody, DC Meghan Webley, FLO, Jason Oxburgh and data expert Grace Meade amongst others who under the tough leadership of DCI Stella Blunt of Liverpool’s police. We also have ten year old Daisy living with her parents Malcolm and Harriet, home-schooled she is a little lonely and has that peculiar manner of children who spend all their time in the company of adults. All these characters are acutely drawn with everyday events underscored by a level of tension that you simply won’t believe until you read this book for yourself. Never in my life have I had to hold my breath while reading about a game of darts!

Although this is one of my favourite genres, a good solid police procedural there is a strong element of the psychological woven through the storyline. As we observe the different relationships I found I was in on the action trying to work out why some were behaving the way they were, for instance, in the all too familiar media interview I felt I was on the other side of the camera, alongside the police watching and waiting for a sentence that would provide a key to unlocking at least something vaguely useful to explaining what had happened. Because the reader knows more than the police, a dicey device in any but the most assured writer’s keyboard, you’d expect the tension levels to be lower. Not so, I could feel my heart racing at far too many parts of this book to mention. I needed it all resolved, and as the levels increase unrelentingly until the truly outstanding ending. This book should come with a free ECG to make sure your heart is up to reading it!

I’m sure this would read very well as a standalone but I don’t recommend it. A Tapping at my Door, the first in the series, is one of my favourite crime books of all time, and the second, Hope to Die gives us more insight into Nathan Cody as well as being another full-on read so you’ll be missing out if you can’t wait and chose to start with this book but I’m almost certain you’ll need to pick up the previous two if you can’t wait.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for allowing me to read a copy of Don’t Make a Sound ahead of publication on 3 May 2018. Thank you also to David Jackson for giving my heart a workout, I can’t wait to see what will happen next. This is an unbiased review written by Cleopatra Loves Books.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
o of Pages: 3528
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 22)

I’m so glad the spring has finally sprung especially as we had visitors last week including two of the small variety which meant I had my first visit to the beach of the year where we collected lots of lovely shells.

I also finished my snow day scarf just in time for the hot weather! Here it is just before it passed the finish line although if I’d be clever I would have worn a contrasting outfit.

This Week on the Blog

This week started with my review for Broken Bones by Angela Marsons which was my 11th read for my Mount TBR Challenge – the aim is to have finished 36 of my own books bought before 1 January 2018 before the end of the year so I am more or less on track!

My excerpt post was from Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell which I’m hoping to read soon.

This Week in Books featured the authors Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Sharon Bolton and Rebecca Fleet.

My second review of the week was for Rebecca Muddiman’s Murder in Slow Motion which went behind the scenes on a domestic abuse storyline for police duo Gardner and Freeman.

My final review of the week was all about an obsessive man, told from his viewpoint in Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall.

I finished the week with a tag – Currently Reading – about my reading habits which quickly focussed on how accommodating or otherwise I need to be to indulge my habit of reading in bed.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Little Deaths by Emma Flint which is a fictionalised tale of Alice Crimmins (in the book she becomes Ruth Malone) whose two young children disappeared from their bedroom in Queens, New York in the 1960s. The story explores how much the resulting investigation and trial was powered by the fact that Ruth did not behave in a way that was expected of a mother. This was an incredibly powerful read, easily one of my favourite books of 2017 with its complex character leaping off the page.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths is a gripping novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well as you know I have sworn off NetGalley for the month of April but I did win a competition run by the lovely Portobello Book Blog to celebrate her third year of blogging. My mystery book was Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter and came with some beautiful bookmarks. Even better the book includes rummaging through some archives, something I always find irresistible! Thank you so much Joanne!



Blurb

Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.

Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live—but is it all an illusion? Amazon

My second book is one that I requested for review prior to the self-imposed ban beginning – honest – The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey was published on 19 April 2018.

Blurb

“Growing up in a strict religious family between the wars, Annie Lang wasn’t convinced that Jesus was such a great friend to little children. Or why would he have snatched away her lovely mother when she was only six? Witness to disturbing events that no one can explain, Annie is confused and sister Bea can’t help.

Six years on and student Annie returns from France to find her brother in the local mental hospital, her father rarely home and her friend and Sunday School teacher missing. With the help of her childhood diary Annie turns detective to try and understand the past. Her journey leads to a discovery that she believes will ruin all their lives, unless they can somehow atone for what has happened.

Impulsive, brave and lovable, Annie Lang is formidable when she takes matters into her own hands.” Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 5 books and since I have gained 2 so my TBR has fallen to its lowest level yet in 2018, a mere 182
Physical Books – 113
Kindle Books – 50
NetGalley Books –19

 

Since my last post I have banked 2/3 of a book token so I am 1 book in credit! Which is just as well as I’m off on holiday in June and I can’t have absolutely no new books to take!

Posted in Uncategorized

Currently Reading Tag

Well April has turned from wintery to summery weather in the blink of an eye and it’s the weekend! I’m hoping to get some al fresco reading done for the first time this year which will be lovely!

I recently found this  this currently reading tag on No Read’s Too Great  and I thought I’d give it a go.

1. How many books do you usually read at once?

I usually only manage to read 1 book  at a time but part of my New Year Reading Resolutions was to read a non-fiction book each month and surprisingly at the moment I have a non-fiction read, a short story read and a fiction book all in progress – go me!

2. If you’re reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?

I read the non-fiction as a day-time read, the fiction is my bed-time reading (a habit I’ve maintained from early childhood) but if I’m very tired I’ll read one of the short stories.

3. Do you ever switch bookmarks while you’re partway through a book?

Only if I loose the first one! I have many beautiful bookmarks to my name but often I use the closest piece of paper to hand so I have all sort of random things saving my place for me, although of course the kindle doesn’t require a bookmark.

4. Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

The non-fiction book is on the table by ‘my chair’ along with library books whereas my kindle tends to be with me at all times!

5. What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

In the evening/night time – I’m at work all day and although my kindle travels with me it is a rare day that I pick it up before I get home.

6. How long do you typically read in one sitting?

I read most on the weekend and these sessions will last as long as I don’t need to do anything else but typically about an hour at a stretch. At night-time it is until my eyes droop!

7. Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?

I don’t read that many hardbacks as they are too heavy to read in bed but if I do it is dust jacket on.

8. What position do you mainly use to read?

Usually propped up in bed resting the book on my bent knees – although apparently this is annoying if someone else is in bed, so if I’m being accommodating I lie on my side.

9. Do you take the book you’re currently reading with you everywhere you go?

If it’s on my kindle yes as that travels with me!

10. How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?

I only update my Goodreads when I’ve written my review – nine times out of ten I haven’t even marked it as to be read!

So that’s my reading habits – let me know your answers if you care to join in with this tag.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Our Kind of Cruelty – Araminta Hall

Psychological Thriller
5*s

Verity and Mike are an example of a classic love story. They met at university, fell in love and then seven years later, circumstances meant that they had to continue their relationship long-distance to further their careers and ultimately to enable them to buy their dream house in London.

Then it all went wrong and the couple split up.

“I must be cruel only to be kind / Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.”

We meet Mike who in the first half of the book explains his history both before and after he met the love of his life Verity. I’m not really spoiling anything to say that you may find this young man a little hard to warm to, but that’s not to say this isn’t one fascinating story. If you like your psychological themed books of the variety where you see into the minds that view life in a very different way to the norm, you’ll love it.

While they were together Mike and Verity played a game, not of the tame board variety but one of a more adult nature. This game was called ‘The Crave.’ So when Mike receives an invitation to Verity’s wedding to a rich older man, Angus, he interprets this as a continuation of the game and acts accordingly. To the man on the street his behaviour would be classed as stalking, but not to Mike who is convinced that despite losing in act one, he is in with a definite chance in act two. This book tells us how this plays out for the couple.

That’s all I’m going to say about the plot because the power of the book is in the structure and the many layers that have clearly been lovingly thought out to give the reader an insight into stories which reflect the talking points that you probably discuss with friends even if only in the context of your combined relationship history. Someone you know is bound to have known a Mike, and a Verity. What gave me conviction that this is a brilliantly crafted piece of psychological fiction was the way that although I rattled through the book, wondering what was going to happen next, it was only after I had finished that some of the talking points were really revealed. It is one of those books which tempted me to go back to the beginning armed with the knowledge of the ending.

One of the obvious joys in this book was to read a good psychological thriller from a male perspective. I have often said I don’t need to like the protagonists of the books I read and so to read about a damaged man in his own words was fascinating in itself and really was a change from the other way around. Mike is obsessive in his love for Verity and we learn why that may be from his internal thoughts that occupy the first half of the book but we learn about those who inhabit his world and what his view of it does to them too. So very, very clever and utterly compelling.

I have been a fan of Araminta Hall ever since I read her first novel Everything and Nothing way back in 2011, which was followed by Dot in 2013 (which made my top ten reads of that year,) so I was absolutely delighted to be provided with an advance copy of Our Kind of Cruelty by the publishers Century. This unbiased review is my thank you to them and the exceptional author.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher: Century
No of Pages: 368
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Murder in Slow Motion – Rebecca Muddiman

Crime Fiction
4*s

Andrew returns home to find his partner Katy missing. The last text he had received was to let him know that she was visiting their neighbour. When he goes to find her there is nobody there but blood has been spilt. When DI Michael Gardner and DS Nicola Freeman talk to him they are inclined to think he is panicking unnecessarily despite the fact that the once confident Katy has recently been made redundant and seemingly doesn’t go anywhere. To find Katy they have to find her friends but that’s easier said than done when a person’s life has contracted to be contained within four walls.

The pair soon realise that one half of the neighbouring couple is also a police officer Dawn Lawson and she called in sick and no-one, including her boyfriend knows where she is either.

This is an incredibly claustrophobic novel and one where DI Gardner is so fired up by Dawn’s disappearance he often almost forgets that Katy is also missing. With the subject matter focussing on domestic abuse it is also a book that makes the reader think. Yes, we are in 2018 and domestic abuse is no longer the hidden subject it once was but this book shows us the different forms that it can take and of course, the effects it can have on the victim. It is also a sad reflection of the way that even though violent rows are overheard by others living nearby few take any action at all.

So the book has a big ‘issue’ but it is also a police procedural, albeit one where DI Gardner stretches the bounds of the law to the nth degree to ensure that he gets to the bottom of the women’s disappearance. As the investigation intensifies we see that both women had secrets and their lives from the outside were not at all like the reality.

There is plenty of action but overall this is a thoughtful book. The key drivers are the personalities, of Gardner and Freeman whose relationship is easily familiar although with a hint of irritation about their differences. But it is the supporting cast, the ones off page whose personalities intrigue us just as much. What did the shy Katy share with Dawn, or was it the other way around? Surely it can’t be a coincidence that they both have vanished at the same time? Their partners are also in the spotlight although neither can be placed at anything like the scene of the (almost) non-existent crime. Our pair of detectives have to work hard to sort this puzzle out.

I have enjoyed the two previous books I read in this series and have vowed to get around to the missing third episode. Fortunately they do work as standalones because like a lot of my favourite these contemporary writers, Rebecca Muddiman manages to give a different ‘feel’ to all her books despite keeping the key characters in place. This is definitely a police procedural that is as much about the why as the who.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the author who provided me with a copy of Murder in Slow Motion – sorry it took me so long to get around to reading the book and writing this unbiased review.

First Published UK: 25 February 2018
Publisher: Independently Published
No of Pages: 388
Genre: Crime Fiction Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Books in the Gardner & Freeman Series

Stolen
Gone
Tell Me Lies

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 18)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I have started my fourth read from The Classics Club chosen by the spin which chose Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon so I’m going back to the Victorian times to meet this far from insipid lady.

Blurb

‘Lady Audley uttered a long, low, wailing cry, and threw up her arms above her head with a wild gesture of despair’

In this outlandish, outrageous triumph of scandal fiction, a new Lady Audley arrives at the manor: young, beautiful – and very mysterious. Why does she behave so strangely? What, exactly, is the dark secret this seductive outsider carries with her? A huge success in the nineteenth century, the book’s anti-heroine – with her good looks and hidden past – embodied perfectly the concerns of the Victorian age with morality and madness. Amazon

The last book I finished also featured a far from insipid female, this time  WPC Florence Lovelady who takes us back to 1969 in Sharon Bolton’s brilliantly creepy The Craftsman – my review for this book will follow soon.

Blurb

Devoted father or merciless killer?
His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

Next on my list is The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet which will be published on 3 May 2018 – not sure if the female protagonist in this book is insipid but I sincerely hope she isn’t!

Blurb

‘No one lives this way unless they want to hide something.’

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget . . . Amazon

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? Would you like to?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 17)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

I’m featuring one of my upcoming reads from my own bookshelf this week; Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell, the author of one my favourite reads of 2017, The Other Typist.



Blurb

‘Back in those days My Old Man was king of what they called the three-martini lunch. This meant that in dimly lit steakhouses all over Manhattan my father made bold, impetuous deals over gin and oysters. That was how it was done.’

Cliff Nelson, the privileged son of a New York publishing house editor, is slumming it around Greenwich village in 1958, enjoying the booze, drugs and the idea that he’s the next Kerouac.

Fresh-faced Eden Katz arrives in New York with the ultimate ambition to become an editor, but she’s shocked at the stumbling blocks she encounters.

Miles Tillman, a black publishing house messenger boy, is an aspiring writer who feels he straddles various worlds and belongs to none.

Their choices, concealments and betrayals ripple outwards leaving none of them unchanged. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1
CLIFF

Greenwich Village in ’58 was a madman’s paradise. In those days a bunch of us went around together drinking too much coffee and smoking too much cannabis and talking all the time about poetry and Nietzsche and bebop. I had been running around with the same guys I knew from Columbia – give or take a coloured jazz musician here or a benny addict there – and together we would get good and stoned and ride the subway down to Washington Square I guess you could say I liked my Columbia buddies all right. They were swell enough guys but, when you really got down to it, they were a pack of poser wannabe-poets in tweed and I knew it was only a matter of time before I outgrew them.

Well I’m not too sure what to make of Cliff from that short excerpt but I can’t wait to find out what happens when he outgrows his buddies!

Would you keep reading? Or perhaps you’ve already read this one, after all it was published in 2016