Posted in 5 Of the Best

Five of the Best (April 2011 to 2015)

5 Star Reads

As I have now been reviewing for over five years I thought I’d highlight my favourite book for each month from 2011 until 2015 to remind myself of the good ones. When we are talking five years ago, they must be good if I still remember them!


Black Flowers by Steve Mosby was one of those books I picked up because it was recommended by Amazon. This is a book within a book and boy what a story it tells! It was far more terrifying than I expected but it is up there in the mental list of books I simply will never forget reading.

Black Flowers


This is not a story about a girl who disappears. This is the story of a little girl who comes back. As if from nowhere, she appears one day on a seaside promenade, with a black flower and a horrifying story about where she’s been. But telling that story will start a chain reaction of dangerous lies and deadly illusions that will claim many more victims in the years to come.
Neil Dawson has grown up wanting to be like his father—a writer. When his father commits suicide, he is devastated. But through his grief, Neil knows something isn’t right. Looking through his father’s papers, he finds a copy of an old novel, The Black Flower. Opening it will take Neil into an investigation full of danger, pain and subterfuge. Hannah Price is also mourning her father. She followed his footsteps into the police force, and knows she has a big reputation to live up to. When she gets assigned to Neil’s father’s case, it will lead her on a journey into her own past and to the heart of a shattering secret. Goodreads

2012 yr

In April 2012 I read The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood in one straight sitting as was fascinated of this tale which flips backwards and forwards between the day of murder twenty-five years ago and the present day. With themes of how the media presents a version of the truth and at its heart this was a story about whether there can ever be redemption for those who cause revulsion.

The Wicked Girls


One fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder.
Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their secret hidden? Goodreads


What Lies Within by Tom Vowler came to me courtesy of Amazon Vine and I was impressed with the fresh feel that this book bought to the genre with as a prisoner escaping from a nearby jail sparks a series of unforeseen events.

What lies Within

Click on the book cover to read my review


Living in a remote Devon farmhouse, Anna and her family have always been close to nature, surrounded by the haunting beauty of the moor. But when a convict escapes from nearby Dartmoor prison, their isolation suddenly begins to feel more claustrophobic than free. Fearing for her children’s safety, Anna’s behaviour becomes increasingly irrational. But why is she so distant from her kind husband Robert, and why does she suspect something sinister of her son Paul? All teenagers have their difficult phases… Meanwhile, a young idealistic teacher has just started her first job, determined to ‘make a difference’. But when she is brutally attacked by one of her students, her version of events is doubted by even those closest to her. Struggling to deal with the terrible consequences, she does what she can to move on and start afresh. As the two narratives converge, the tension builds to a devastating denouement, shattering everything you thought you believed about nature, nurture and the true meaning of family. Amazon


In April 2014 I read The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, a book I fell in love with from the very first page. A story that painfully but beautifully takes the reader through the aftermath of a doomed affair.The End of the Affair

Click on the book cover to read my review


The love affair between Maurice Bendrix and Sarah, flourishing in the turbulent times of the London Blitz, ends when she suddenly and without explanation breaks it off. After a chance meeting rekindles his love and jealousy two years later, Bendrix hires a private detective to follow Sarah, and slowly his love for her turns into an obsession. Amazon


April 2015 has been full of great reads but the best of them all is the debut, Disclaimer by Renée Knight which with its unusual premise and brilliant execution has had me recommending this one far and wide since I read it.


Click on the book cover to read my review


Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead.
Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her. Goodreads

I hope you have enjoyed my trip through my April reads, if you missed the previous months you can find them here:

January Five of the Best
February Five of the Best
March Five of the Best


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

43 thoughts on “Five of the Best (April 2011 to 2015)

  1. An unread copy of The End of the Affair has been sitting on one of my bookshelves for so many years. I must try to get to it soon – seeing it on your list is a timely reminder.


    1. Ah thank you – it is good when my choices resonate with other readers and I was amazed I hadn’t read this one before – that reminds me I haven’t read the other Graham Greene books that are sat waiting for me!


  2. I enjoyed reading this post! And of course I need to check out those books too! All of them sound so good. 🙂


  3. They all look good. The only one I’ve read is The End of the Affair which I thought was a a powerful novel, emotional, passionate and intense – a dark and compelling book, with more emphasis on character than on plot.


  4. This is an awesome selection, Cleo. Like Margaret, I’ve read The End of the Affair (I’m a confessing Graham Greene fan); the other books are on my TBR list.


  5. Oh, you’ve got some terrific choices here, Cleo! Lots of atmospheric kinds of novels that creep up on the reader. I can see why you thought they were the best.


  6. Whew! I’ve already read two – The End of the Affair and What Lies Within – both great reads. And Disclaimer is already on my TBR. So just two to resist today – but I suspect I might not be able to resist Black Flowers…


  7. I’ve read The Wicked Girls. Enjoyed it very much. Makes me want to read it again. I know that Alex Marwood has another book since and I need to read that one too. Love this feature.


  8. I’m dying to read The Wicked Girls – The Killer Next Door went a bit OTT at the end! I’ve got another Tom Fowler (That Dark Remembered Day?) which I bought on your recommendation of the author; possibly the book too. The Steve Mosby looks fabulous – a completely new one….! I have the last two – loved the Greene; Our Man In Havana is fabulous as I’m a bit of a spy fan! This is indeed a fan feature Cleo, reminds you of lots of great books you’d missed or forgotten.


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