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

Apple Tree Yard – Louise Doughty

Women's Fiction 5*'s
Women’s Fiction
5*’s

This has to be one of the best books I have read this year, I have been recommending it to all my friends who have all appreciated the tip!

What a fantastic story, the prose grabs you as soon as the first page is turned with the description of Yvonne Carmichael writing a letter to her lover. Yvonne is a respected scientist, a geneticist, married to Guy a fellow scientist and has two grown up children. The model woman so why, a few pages in, is she on trial?

The story is told with the events slowly teased out, but not so slowly that it is frustrating, the characters so alive that I could believe that I had met them and walked the very streets of London to Apple Tree Yard. The court room scenes were clearly well researched, I have since found out that Louise Doughty spent some time at the Old Bailey with the prosecution at a murder trial, this layer of authenticity only adds to the story being told. The story involves Mr X, Guy and a cast of others whose lives change because of Yvonne actions. Even better, just as you think you know everything and all that remains is the tying up of loose ends, there is a clever sting in the tale.

The story isn’t just about adultery and lust, it is as much about the way women perceive themselves and how they are judged by others. It is about the stories we tell ourselves, our own narrative, and the way this changes when someone else is let into these stories. I can’t recommend this book highly enough,it is really the best book I have read this year.

If ever there is a book to make someone stop on the brink of having an affair this book is it!

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce

Psychological Thriller
3*s

We have a lawyer and an affair both of which led me to believe that perhaps we would also have a story in the vein of Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty but apart from both featuring a piece of fruit in the title there wasn’t an awful lot that the two had in common.

Anyway in Blood Orange we have Alison a woman who has the high-powered job, a husband, Carl, a young daughter, Mathilde, and a lover, Patrick … and to top it all off she has finally got her very first murder case to take to trial.

And I suppose this is the crux of the problem I had with the book. Harriet Tyce practiced as a criminal barrister for over a decade, she therefore has the knowledge to bring realism into the fictional scenes surrounding her defence of a Madeline Smith who is accused of killing her husband. Sadly most of this aspect of the book is overtaken by Alison’s car-crash of a personal life.

Alison is what is termed a ‘flawed’ character and I partly blame myself for ignoring this flag when choosing a new book to buy because while I can enjoy a novel even if I don’t like a character, I’m not nearly as keen on those who act against their own perceived best interests. I am fairly confident that in real life you have to be smart and strong to become a barrister, Alison appeared to be neither – the fact that the scenes with her lover took submission to a whole new level could be potentially be excused as part of a type of relationship but she was a pathetic mother, a whiny wife and yet did nothing to improve any facet of her home life. Instead the only thing Alison seemed good at was drinking and sadly I don’t find that fun to witness, or even read about.

So that’s what I found less than convincing but I did read the entire book in part to find how the trial went for Madeline, and to see whether Alison could stop her self-destructive behaviour long enough to see how toxic most of the people in her life were. So while the psychological angle wasn’t quite what I expected this was a study of deeply troubled people and could be a text book study of all the varied abusive relationships to be encountered.

This is one dark book and perhaps if I’d been fully prepared for just how dark it was going to be, I would have approached it with a different mind-set and possibly enjoyed it more as a result.

 

First Published UK: 21 February 2019
Publisher: Wildfire
No of Pages: 336
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Cleopatra’s Top Ten Books Published in 2013, 2014 & 2015

Cleopatra’s Top Ten Books Published in 2013

 

2013 was a great book reading year for me, I have read many great books of a variety of genres, although as usual the majority were crime fiction! It has been a real struggle to whittle this list down to 10 but here they are, in no particular order!

Click on the book covers to read my reviews.

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

My list starts with a book set in a bookshop. This was a great book for this booklover, with references as diverse as Paddington Bear and 1984 littering the pages, great characters and a bookshop I wanted to work in!

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them…
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

Of course it was love for my children, love for my son, that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgement. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late.
A superb psychological thriller set in Devon over one claustrophobic weekend in November 2013 this book rivals Barbara Vine for one of the best books in this genre.

Dot by Araminta Hall

Women's Fiction 5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought: ‘I think it’s definitely him.’
Secrets and female relationships dominate this book. Full of delightful characters with an undertone of humour to lighten the emotions that must surely melt the hardest of hearts.

Apple Tree Yard
by Louise Doughty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.

This powerful book was my surprise find of 2013. A women in court but how and why? At its core this is a book about how we perceive ourselves, through our own eyes and what is reflected back to us in the eyes of others.

Entry Island by Peter May

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

I had the final part of the Lewis Trilogy down as a favourite of 2013 but have decided Peter May can’t have two books on the top ten (but if you haven’t read the Lewis Trilogy I suggest you do!) so have decided his latest book set between a past on the Isle of Lewis and the present in Canada was the winner for fantastic characters along with a well plotted tale of a woman accused of murder and a past that must be found.

What Lies Within by Tom Vowler

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

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…

This was another great find part psychological thriller but containing elements of so much more; a mystery, a crime and relationships.

A Funeral for an Owl
by Jane Davis

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Times have changed since Jim Stevens chose to teach. Protocol designed to protect children now makes all pupil/teacher relationships taboo – even those that might benefit a student.

This is one of those stories that stays with you long after you have closed the book. Jane Davis Davis really does bring characters to life, mothers, fathers, friends, teachers are all perfectly described along with their actions and reactions to events. (oh and if you have copy I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements!!)

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Women's Fiction 5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in – and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
Lisa Jewell really knows how to write a great story, her books never fail to delight me as they are so much more than ‘chick-lit’ they deal with serious issues without becoming depressing. This is my favourite (I think) of all her novels.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Women's Fiction 5*'s
Women’s Fiction
5*’s

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Another great story-teller (I read What Alice Forgot after this one) with all the ingredients included; a believable plot, characters that are well-developed and writing that pulls the reader in from the first page, plus this isn’t the story you think it is going to be!

The Cry by Helen Fizgerald

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

He’s gone. And telling the truth won’t bring him back…
When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

A lot of tension in this book, this is definitely not light reading but it is certainly absorbing and haunting.

Cleopatra’s Top Ten Books Published in 2014

2014 was a fantastic reading year for me although even I was shocked to see that I’d marked a whopping 42 books as 5 star reads this year! Yes that’s quite a lot but to be honest I award stars on instinct when I review and (conceitedly) assume those who look at my reviews read the words, rather than depend on this arbitrary system. One reason I enjoy choosing my Top 10 is because it is interesting to see whether on reflection this instinctive scoring holds true for me. Surprisingly it does and I didn’t feel I had to downgrade any of my choices this year but for those of you who assume I ponder and deliberate and weigh up the merits of one five star read against another, I’m sorry, I don’t.

Fortunately as this post concentrates on books published in 2014, I’ve been able to remove a few of my choices, but as you can imagine it was quite a task to get the list whittled down to just 10. As a compromise some books that I love were featured on my blog post Reading and Reviewing in 2014 !

To help with the decision making I have decided to pick the best from some other genres too starting with Historical Fiction. The winner this year is my most recent five star review

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests

What can I say, beautiful engaging writing, three-dimensional characters, great period detail and…. a crime! This book has a slow start but don’t let that fool you, I had to slow down my reading towards the end as I didn’t want the story to end. Set in the early 1920’s Sarah Waters captures the herald of change with the classes and the genders having to adapt to a new way of life.

My Non-Fiction choice isn’t strictly a book that was published in 2014, that originally occurred back in 1974 but it was republished in 2014 (and this is my blog so my rules!)

Victorian Murderesses by Mary S. Hartman

Victorian Murderesses

This book looks at Middle Class Victorian Murderesses in the United Kingdom and France during the Victorian period. It is far more than a recap of the crimes as the author makes a link between the time, place and class of woman to commentate on women’s lives during this period. A fascinating and far more scholarly work than I anticipated.

My Surprise Find of the year:

Interlude by Rupert Smith

Interlude

I don’t know what made me choose this book, but I’m so glad I did. Told between past and present this has a book in a book, historical details and a cast of characters whose actions are at times reprehensible but who are entirely human made up of good points as well.

A Slow Burner of a novel award goes to:

That Dark Remembered Day by Tom Vowler

That Dark Remembered Day

This superbly written book invites the reader to absorb every word as it lays the groundwork for what happened on the day in question. The groundwork begins in 1983, the year I became a teenager and the details took me right back to that era. It’s no coincidence that Tom Vowler’s debut novel What Lies Within made my top ten listing for 2013 with this almost understated but perceptive writing.

Best Debut Novel:

Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unravelling Oliver

One of my favourite types of novel that concentrate on the why of a mystery rather than the who. Unravelling Oliver peels back the layers of the man who starts this book by saying ‘I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.’ The multitude of narrators that have interacted with Oliver through his life create a satisfactory background to the man and it isn’t as straightforward as you may imagine.

Favourite book from an established Crime Series. This was a tough one as all the latest books from series I follow, especially Sharon Bolton’s and Peter James’ produced great books this year, however my final choice for this category features Maeve Kerrigan

The Kill by Jane Casey

The Kill

DC Maeve Kerrigan is caught up in a spate of police killings in the fifth in this series. Once again Jane Casey gets the balance of the police investigation to the personal lives of the characters we know and love (I admit to a little crush on DI Josh Derwent) with a story that is told at the perfect pace. If you haven’t read this series I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Best Start to a New Crime Series goes to a series that features another woman, Detective Grace Fisher, a crime reporter and missing students.

Good Girls Don’t Die by Isabelle Grey

Good Girls Don't Die

There was so much to love in this book, a great plot multiple storylines, well-rounded characters all backed up by a decent plot, in fact there was so much going on in this book to enjoy I felt like I’d read a banquet of a book by the time I’d finished.

There were two New to me author’s whose books were so good I had to read more – and after tossing a coin between the winner and Colette McBeth I award this one to:

Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

Keep Your Friends Close

This choice is another book peopled by well-rounded, if flawed characters. Natty’s husband Sean falls in love with her friend Eve but it appears that this isn’t the first time Eve has behaved in this way, the fallout is spectacular.. After reading this book I immediately bought a copy of Just What Kind of Mother Are You? which was equally as good.

My final two choices are simply two excellent books that I loved and have recommended far and wide ever since I read them.

The Secret Place by Tana French

The Secret Place

When a boy is found murdered in the grounds of an exclusive girl’s school the police need to penetrate the secretive world of teenage girls, not a task for the faint-hearted. Not only does this book have all the requisite ingredients for a great read; characters, plot and pace, it is also an enormously fun read, so much so I dubbed it ‘Mallory Towers for Grown Ups’

Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Little Lies

Another book set in a school, this time in a primary school and the action takes place at a fund-raiser. Liane Moriarty has created such wonderful characters, brilliant dialogue and the most bizarre murder scene ever. This is a book that packs a punch with much more lurking beneath the seemingly light exterior. This author also made my 2013 top 10 list with The Husband’s Secret.

Cleopatra’s Top Ten Books Published in 2015

Top 10 2015

Well 2015 has provided me with a great selection of books, so good that I originally had 50 (yes 50!!) books that I had awarded the highest five stars too – now even I can’t pretend that 48 books equals 10. What to do? Well as I decided back in 2013 when I started this blog to feature books published in that year I got to discard some of the older books and two got carried forward to next year – that left me with a mere 39 books to select from.

With such a selection to choose from I’ve had to accept that it is inevitable that some great books are not featured this year but I’ve finally settled on my final list which despite me assuming that my best of each month posts would reflect these closely, this exercise has just proved to me that sometimes it is after letting a book settle a while that you realise those that have really made an impact.

This year is particularly crime heavy, even for me but I hope I’ve managed to show what is available across the spectrum, it isn’t all serial killers and missing children you know!

So in no particular order here we go:

If you click on the book covers you can read the full review for each book

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing

A modern take on Strangers on a Train which is ingenious; Ted and Lily meet in an airport lounge and for a bit of fun Lily suggests they should only tell each other the truth. On the flight Ted reveals that he wants to kill his wife as she has been unfaithful, Lily taking the moral high-ground offers to help him. If you like your book with plenty of twists and turns, this could be just the right book for you.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby

Perhaps you, like me enjoy books that really delve into the psyche of the characters? If so Pretty Baby will provide just that along with a story which will keep you gripped. Heidi decides to befriend a young woman, Willow when she sees her at a train station with a young baby. Unsurprisingly her husband Chris isn’t totally up for the idea especially as Willow and Ruby look like they are becoming a permanent fixture in their lives with little thought for their own daughter Zoe. The placing of the narratives by Chris and Heidi in the past in relation to Willow’s, as told to a third-party, in the present casts a dark shadow over each episode and the full story is gradually revealed.

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse

The only non-fiction choice this year not only had a killer of a title, but it also had one of the most riveting stories I’ve ever read, more so because it was true! The book covers the story behind a number of court cases that spanned a decade which all centred on the belief that Thomas Charles Druce, the owner of a Victorian Bazaar was actually the 5th Duke of Portland, an eccentric and reclusive man. As I say this is a fascinating look at not only the court cases but also gives the reader a glimpse of how real people behaved during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods which isn’t quite how the history books portray it.

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly MacMillan

Burnt Paper Sky

Ok so now we do have one missing child story for the mix, but there is far more to this book than the heart in the mouth search for a lost child. Set in Bristol this book gave me an idea of what sort of information I react to when I read or see media reports about crime – what triggers in the news cause me to make snap judgements about the truth behind the news? A very clever book that made me think as well as being totally entertaining from an investigative perspective with this unfolding chronologically I needed to know the outcome.
Note readers in the US can read this under the title What She Knew in 2016

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Lost Girls

Angela Marsons had her debut novel published in February 2015 and this was her third book featuring the likeable Detective Kim Stone – yes you read that correctly, this is the third in the series. I could easily have included all of her books but this was my favourite premise. More lost children I’m afraid… Two friends are kidnapped but the kidnapper has an extreme way of pushing up the money they will receive, the two sets of parents are pitted against each other! As you can imagine the fallout is spectacular.

Disclaimer by Renée Knight

Disclaimer

Back in April I predicted this book would make my top ten reads of the year, and it has, one book that didn’t need to settle, I knew this was a hit more or less from the first page. It was also one of the hardest to review as there is so little that can be said about the plot without inadvertently spoiling it for others. I liked that the author skilfully manipulated my emotions, over and over again. If you want a book that is full of surprises, choose this book. I have recommended this far and wide (in the real world) and everyone who listened, has loved it!

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Smoke and Mirrors

Missing children again, but this time back in history being set in Brighton in 1951. In the second in the Max Mephisto the book is far more a complex puzzle with a feel of an old-fashioned detective novel with clues rather than forensics at the fore. Tied in with a production of Aladdin there is links to another murder years before all to be solved by a wonderful cast of characters. Fancy trying a different type of crime fiction – this could be for you.

A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

A Game for all the Family

The queen of psychological thrillers completely wowed me with this, a stand-alone novel which had me utterly and completely confused. Now I see you scratching your heads because that doesn’t sound like fun but therein lies the genius of this book. Told in part in a story written by a teenager and part in real-life the writing was thoroughly entertaining even if I couldn’t for the life of me work out what the point was – rest assured there was a point and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this amazing read.

Hidden by Emma Kavanagh

Hidden

Want a mixture of investigative and psychological crime fiction? Hidden opens with a shooting at a Welsh hospital and the descriptions aren’t for the faint-hearted. What follows is an in-depth look at the crime from multiple viewpoints over an ever-changing time period before and after the shooting.. the result is amazing – this complex structure worked, against all odds.

The Hidden Legacy by G.J. Minnet

The Hidden Legacy

This debut novel is another book that has an opener that will become seared on your memory when a young boy sets fire to two girls in a school playground yet the opening is backed up by a thoughtful, deep and in places deeply moving novel with some of the most consistently rounded characters I have ever had the pleasure to read about. With a mystery legacy for one woman and secrets bubbling throughout, this is a book that made me think about all manner of moral questions. Most definitely the surprise hit of the year for me!

So my top ten is just that – ten great books that have stamped themselves onto my memory in a variety of ways.

If you want to see more of the 144 books I’ve read in 2015

Reading and Reviewing in 2015
Reading Bingo for 2015
2015 Book Reviews with links

Reviews by Author A – L

A

Rachel Abbott – And So It Begins

Rachel Abbott – The Back Road DCI Tom Douglas #2

Rachel Abbott – Come A Little Closer DCI Tom Douglas #7

Rachel Abbott – Kill Me Again DCI Tom Douglas #5

Rachel Abbott – Nowhere Child DCI Tom Douglas #4.5

Rachel Abbott – The Sixth Window DCI Tom Douglas #6

Rachel Abbott – Sleep Tight DCI Tom Douglas #3

Rachel Abbott – Stranger Child DCI Tom Douglas #4

Aimee Alexander – The Accidental Life of Greg Millar

Judith Allnatt – The Moon Field

Buffy Andrews – The Moment Keeper

Isabel Ashdown – Little Sister

Lindsay Jayne Ashford – The Woman On The Orient Express

Lucy Atkins – The Missing One

Lucy Atkins – The Night Visitor

Kate Atkinson – Life After Life 

Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace

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Fredrik Backman – My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

Fredrik Backman – The Scandal

Fredrik Backman – Us Against You

Alison Baillie – A Fractured Winter 

Alison Baillie – Sewing The Shadows Together

Beryl Bainbridge – An Awfully Big Adventure

Beryl Bainbridge – Harriet Said

Beryl Bainbridge – Master Georgie

Beryl Bainbridge – Sweet William

Beryl Bainbridge – Winter Garden

Lisa Ballantyne – Little Liar

Lisa Ballantyne – Redemption Road

Laura Barnett – Greatest Hits

Laura Barnett – The Versions of Us

Helen Barrell – Poison Panic

Graham Bartlett – Death Comes Knocking

Fiona Barton – The Child

Fiona Barton – The Suspect 

Fiona Barton – The Widow

Belinda Bauer – The Beautiful Dead

Belinda Bauer – The Facts of Life and Death

Belinda Bauer – Rubbernecker

Belinda Bauer – The Shut Eye

Belinda Bauer – Snap

Nina Bawden – Ruffian On The Stair

Nina Bawden – The Solitary Child

Simon Beckett – The Chemistry of Death David Hunter #1

Simon Beckett – The Restless Dead David Hunter #5

Simon Beckett – Stone Bruises

Deborah Bee – The Last Thing I Remember

Gail Bell – The Poison Principle

Kimberly Belle – The Marriage Lie

Marie Benedict – Carnegie’s Maid

John Bennett – The Cromwell Street Murders 

Flynn Berry – A Double Life

Mark Billingham – Die of Shame

Mark Billingham – The Dying Hours

Mark Billingham – Love Like Blood

Mark Billingham – Rush of Blood

Mark Billingham – Time of Death

Amy Bird – The Good Mother

Amy Bird – Hide and Seek

Katarina Bivald – The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Jenny Blackhurst – Before I Let You In

Jenny Blackhurst – The Foster Child

Jenny Blackhurst – How I Lost You

Jenny Blackhurst – The Night She Died

Sam Blake – In Deep Water Cat Connolly #2

Sam Blake – Little Bones Cat Connolly #1

Victoria Blake – Mrs Maybrick

Chris Blamires – A Time of Myths

Sharon Bolton – The Craftsman

Sharon Bolton – A Dark and Twisted Tide Lacey Flint #4

Sharon Bolton – Daisy In Chains

Sharon Bolton – Dead Woman Walking

Sharon Bolton – Here Be Dragons Lacey Flint Short Story

Sharon Bolton – If Snow Hadn’t Fallen Lacey Flint Short Story

Sharon Bolton – Like This Forever Lacey Flint #3

Sharon Bolton – Little Black Lies

Sharon Bolton – Now You See Me Lacey Flint #1

Jan Bondeson – The Ripper of Waterloo Road

Simon Booker – Without Trace

Simon Bourke – And the Birds Kept on Singing

William Boyd – The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth

John Boyne – Crippen: A Novel of a Murder

John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

John Boyne – The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Mary Elizabeth Braddon – Lady Audley’s Secret

Melvyn Bragg – Grace and Mary

Rebecca Bradley – Shallow Waters

Carys Bray – The Museum of You

R.C. Bridgestock – When a Killer Strikes

Ray Britain – The Last Thread

Vera Brittain – Testament of Youth

Frances Brody – A Snapshot of Murder #10 Kate Shackleton

Frances Brody – Death at the Seaside Kate Shackleton #8

Frances Brody – Death in the Stars  Kate shackleton #9

Chris Brookmyre – Want You Gone

Dea Brøvig – The Last Boat Home

Antony M Brown – The Red Address Book

Alison Bruce – The Promise DC Gary Goodhew #6

Alison Bruce – The Siren DC Gary Goodhew #2

Elizabeth Buchan – The New Mrs Clifton

Suzanne Bugler – The Safest Place

Alafair Burke – The Ex

Graeme Macrae Burnet – His Bloody Project

Alexandra Burt – Little Girl Gone

Sian Busby – A Commonplace Killing

Sian Busby – The Cruel Mother

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Alex Caan – Cut To The Bone

Jane Cable – The Faerie Tree

Graeme Cameron – Normal

Louise Candlish – The Disappearance of Emily Marr

Louise Candlish – The Intruder at Number 40

Louise Candlish – Other People’s Secrets

Louise Candlish – Our House

Louise Candlish – The Sudden Departure of the Frasers

Louise Candlish – The Swimming Pool

Joanna Cannon – Three Things About Elsie

Truman Capote – Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

Truman Capote – In Cold Blood

Laura Carlin – The Wicked Cometh

Elisabeth Carpenter – Only a Mother 

 Emmanuel Carrère – The Adversary

Jane Carter Woodrow – Rose West: A Making of a Monster

Tania Carver – The Doll’s House

James Cary – Crossword Ends In Violence (5)

Jane Casey – After The Fire Maeve Kerrigan #6

Jane Casey – Cruel Acts Maeve Kerrigan #8

Jane Casey – The Kill Maeve Kerrigan #5

Jane Casey – Left for Dead Maeve Kerrigan #0.5

Jane Casey – Let The Dead Speak Maeve Kerrigan #7

Jane Casey – The Stranger You Know Maeve Kerrigan #4

Steve Cavanagh – The Defence

HS Chandler – Degrees of Guilt

Eve Chase – Black Rabbit Hall

Eve Chase – The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde

Agatha Christie – The A.B.C. Murders

Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie – Hickory Dickory Dock

Agatha Christie – The Murder at the Vicarage

Agatha Christie – Murder is Easy

Agatha Christie – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie – One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Agatha Christie – The Thirteen Problems

Ann Cleeves – Raven Black Shetland #1

Ann Cleeves – Silent Voices

Rory Clements – Martyr

Nicci Cloke – Lay Me Down

Deborah Cohen – Family Secrets

Tamar Cohen – The Broken

Tammy Cohen – Deadly Divorces

Tammy Cohen – Dying For Christmas

Tammy Cohen – First One Missing

Tamar Cohen – The Mistress’s Revenge

Tamar Cohen – Someone Else’s Wedding

Tammy Cohen – They All Fall Down

Tammy Cohen – When She Was Bad

Emma Cole – Every Secret Thing

Kate Colquhoun – Did She Kill Him?

Barbara Comyns – Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Michael Stewart Conway – Caversham Lock

Michael Stewart Conway – Caversham Road

Barabara Copperthwaite – Flowers for the Dead

Elizabeth Cooke – Rutherford Park

Natasha Cooper – No Escape

Julie Corbin – Now That You’re Gone

Jane Corry – Blood Sisters

Jane Corry – My Husband’s Wife

Andrew Cowan – Worthless Men

Edmund Crispin – The Moving Toyshop

Kathryn Croft – The Girl With No Past

Kathryn Croft – The Girl You Lost

Kathryn Croft – While You Were Sleeping

Julia Crouch – Her Husband’s Lover

Julia Crouch – Tarnished

Julia Crouch – The Long Fall

Sinéad Crowley – Are You Watching Me? DS Claire Boyle #2

Sinéad Crowley – Can Anybody Help Me? DS Claire Boyle #1

Sinéad Crowley – One Bad Turn DS Claire Boyle #3

Fiona Cummins – The Neighbour 

Chris Curran – Her Deadly Secret

Judith Cutler – Green and Pleasant Land

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Suellen Dainty – The Housekeeper

Paula Daly – Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Paula Daly – Keep Your Friends Close

Paula Daly – The Mistake I Made

Paula Daly – Open Your Eyes

Paula Daly – The Trophy Child

Sandra Danby – Ignoring Gravity

Nina Darnton – The Perfect Mother

Bea Davenport – In Too Deep

Bea Davenport – This Little Piggy

Caitlin Davies – Family Likeness

Caitlin Davies – The Ghost Of Lily Painter

Jane Davis – A Funeral For An Owl

Jane Davis – Half-Truths And White Lies

Jane Davis – I Stopped Time

Jane Davis – Smash All The Windows 

Jane Davis – These Fragile Things

Elizabeth Day – Home Fires

Kit de Waal – My Name is Leon

Kit de Waal – The Trick to Time

Luke Delaney – The Toy Taker

Robert Dinsdale – Little Exiles

Anthony Doerr – All The Light We Cannot See

Charlie Donlea – Don’t Believe It

Emma Donoghue – Room

Louise Doughty – Apple Tree Yard

Louise Douglas – The Secret By The Lake

Louise Douglas – Your Beautiful Lies

Renita D’Silva – Monsoon Memories

Renita D’Silva – The Forgotten Daughter

Renita D’Silva – The Stolen Girl

Ruth Dugdall – Humber Boy B #3

Ruth Dugdall – Nowhere Girl #4

Ruth Dugdall – The Sacrificial Man #2

Ruth Dugdall – The Woman Before Me #1

Sabine Durrant – Lie With Me

Sabine Durrant – Remember Me This Way

Sabine Durrant – Take Me In

Sabine Durrant – Under Your Skin

Claire Dyer – The Last Day

Claire Dyer – The Perfect Affair

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Piu Marie Eatwell – The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse

 Mark Edwards – The Magpies

Mark Edwards – Because She Loves Me

Martin Edwards – The Arsenic Labyrinth Lake District Mystery #3

Martin Edwards – The Cipher Garden Lake District Mystery #2

Martin Edwards – The Coffin Trail Lake District Mystery #1

Martin Edwards – Dancing for the Hangman

Martin Edwards – The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books 

Elsebeth Egholm – Dead Souls

Susan Eliot Wright – The Things We Never Said

Susan Eliot Wright – The Secrets We Left Behind

J.T. Ellison – No One Knows

Nuala Ellwood – My Sister’s Bones

Jennie Ensor – Blind Side

Jennie Ensor – The Girl in His Eyes

Colin Evans – The Killing of Georgie Moore

Elizabeth Evans – As Good As Dead

Harriet Evans – A Place For Us

Lissa Evans – Crooked Heart

Natalie Meg Evans – The Dress Thief

Felicity Everett – The People at Number 9

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Jane Fallon – Faking Friends

Jane Fallon – My Sweet Revenge

Jane Fallon – Skeletons 

Jane Fallon – Tell Me A Secret

Natalie Fergie – The Sewing Machine

Clare Fisher – All The Good Things

Helen FitzGerald – Bloody Women

Helen FitzGerald – The Cry

Helen FitzGerald – The Exit

Helen FitzGerald – My Last Confession

Helen FitzGerald – Viral

Rebecca Fleet – The House Swap

Emma Flint – Little Deaths

Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl

Lucy Foley – The Book of Lost and Found

Margaret Forster – My Life in Houses

Margaret Forster – The Unknown Bridesmaid

Karin Fossum – The Drowned Boy

Karin Fossum – The Murder of Harriet Krohn

John Foster – Nine Times In Ten

N.J. Fountain – Painkiller

Christopher Fowler – The Book of Forgotten Authors

Dorothy Fowler – What Remains Behind

Margalit Fox – Conan Doyle for the Defence

Patty Francis- The Liars Diary

Ros Franey – The Dissent of Annie Lang

Sarah Franklin – Shelter

Caz Frear – Sweet Little Lies

Kimberley Freeman -Wildflower Hill

Nicci French – Friday On My Mind Frieda Klein #5

Nicci French – Saturday Requiem Frieda Klein #6

Nicci French – Sunday Morning Coming Down Frieda Klein #7

Nicci French – Thursday’s Child Frieda Klein #4

Nicci French – Waiting for Wednesday Frieda Klein #3

Paul French – Midnight in Peking

Tana French – Broken Harbour

Tana French – The Secret Place

Tana French – The Trespasser

Tana French – The Wych Elm

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Christine Gardner – Not Guilty

Helen Garner – This House of Grief

Pascal Garnier – The A26

Pascal Garnier – Boxes

Pascal Garnier – Moon in a Dead Eye

Alison Gaylin – What Remains of Me

Hélène Gestern – The People in the Photo

Elizabeth Gifford – The Secrets Of The Sea House

Elizabeth Gill – The Fall and Rise of Lucy Charlton

Andrea Gillies – The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay

Lesley Glaister – Nina Todd Has Gone

Holly Goddard Jones – The Next Time You See Me

Celina Grace – Hushabye

Celina Grace – Requiem

Celina Grace – Imago

Eliza Graham – Another Day Gone

Eliza Graham – The One I Was

Peter Graham – Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

Camilla Grebe – The Ice Beneath Her

Graham Greene – The End of the Affair

Iona Grey – Letters to the Lost

Isabelle Grey – The Bad Mother

Isabelle Grey – Good Girls Don’t Die Grace Fisher #1

Isabelle Grey – Shot Through The Heart Grace Fisher #2

Isabelle Grey – The Special Girls Grace Fisher #3

Isabelle Grey – Wrong Way Home Grace Fisher #4

Michael Griesbach – The Innocent Killer

Elly Griffiths – The Blood Card Stephens & Mephisto #3

Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit Ruth Galloway #9

Elly Griffiths – The Dark Angel Ruth Galloway #10

Elly Griffiths – The Ghost Fields Ruth Galloway #7

Elly Griffiths – The Outcast Dead Ruth Galloway #6

Elly Griffiths – Smoke and Mirrors Stephens &  Mephisto #2

Elly Griffiths – The Stranger Diaries

Elly Griffiths – The Stone Circle Ruth Galloway #11

Elly Griffiths – The Woman in Blue Ruth Galloway #8

Elly Griffiths – The Vanishing Box Stephens &  Mephisto #4

Elly Griffiths – The Zig-Zag Girl Stephens & Mephisto #1

Rebecca Griffiths – A Place to Lie

Lauren Groff – Fates and Furies

Heather Gudenkauf – Little Mercies

Heather Gudenkauf – Missing Pieces

Heather Gudenkauf – Not A Sound

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H

Araminta Hall – Dot

Araminta Hall – Our Kind of Cruelty

Kate Hamer – The Doll Funeral

Penny Hancock – A Trick of the Mind

Helene Hanff – 84 Charing Cross Road

Jean Hanff Korelitz – You Should Have Known

John F Hanley – Against The Tide

John F Hanley – The Last Boat

Kristen Hannah – The Nightingale

Sophie Hannah – A Game For All The Family

Sophie Hannah – Did You See Melody?

Sophie Hannah – The Carrier

Sophie Hannah – The Narrow Bed

Sophie Hannah – The Telling Error

Emma Hannigan – The Summer Guests

Emma Hannigan – The Heart of Winter

Kathryn Harkup – A is For Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

Claire Harman – Murder by the Book 

Fiona Harper – The Other Us

Jane Harper – The Dry

Jane Harper – The Lost Man

L.P.Hartley – The Go-Between

L.P. Hartley – The Shrimp and the Anemone

Mary S. Hartman – Victorian Murderesses

C.J. Hartner – Rowan’s Well

David Hastings – The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie

Paula Hawkins – The Girl On The Train

Antonia Hayes – Relativity

Samantha Hayes – Until You’re Mine

Samatha Hayes – Before You Die

Samantha Hayes – You Belong To Me

Elizabeth Haynes – Behind Closed Doors (DCI Louisa Smith #2)

Elizabeth Haynes – Human Remains

Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton

Elizabeth Haynes – Never Alone

Elizabeth Haynes – Promises to Keep

Elizabeth Haynes – Under A Silent Moon (DCI Louisa Smith #1)

Katherine Hayton – Found Near WaterKatherine Hayton – Found Near Water

Julia Heaberlin – Black-Eyed Susans

Emma Healey – Elizabeth Is Missing

James Henry – Blackwater

James Henry – Frost at Midnight DI Frost Prequel #4

James Henry – Morning Frost DI Frost Prequel #3

Sally Hepworth – The Family Next Door

Sally Hepworth – The Mother-in-Law

Sally Hepworth – The Things We Keep

Patricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr Ripley

Sarah Hilary – Come And Find Me DI Marnie Rome #5

Sarah Hilary – No Other Darkness DI Marnie Rome #2

Sarah Hilary – Quieter Than Killing DI Marnie Rome #4

Sarah Hilary – Someone Else’s Skin DI Marnie Rome #1

Sarah Hilary – Tastes Like Fear DI Marnie Rome #3

Mark Hill – The Two O’clock Boy

Reginald Hill – A Clubbable Woman Dalziel & Pascoe #1

Reginald Hill – Bones and Silence Dalziel & Pascoe #11

Reginald Hill – Child’s Play Dalziel & Pascoe #9

Reginald Hill – Pictures of Perfection Dalziel & Pascoe #14

Reginald Hill – The Stranger House

Reginald Hill – Under World Dalziel & Pascoe #10

Susan Hill – Soul of Discretion

Victoria Hislop – The Island

Frances Hodgeson Burnett- The Shuttle

Andrea Hodgkinson – Spilt Milk

Jiliane Hoffman – All The Little Pieces

Phil Hogan – A Pleasure and a Calling

Eva Holland – The Daughter’s Secret

Anna Hope – The Ballroom

Anna Hope – Wake

Ellen Horan – 31 Bond Street 

Rachel Hore – Last Letter Home

Rachel Hore – The Silent Tide

Rachel Hore – A Week in Paris

Babs Horton – A Jarful of Angels

Jane Housham – The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane

Catherine Ryan Howard – Distress Signals

Debbie Howells – The Beauty of the End

Debbie Howells – The Bones of You

Lisa Howorth – Flying Shoes

Linda Huber – Chosen Child

Linda Huber – The Cold Cold Sea

Linda Huber – Ward Zero

Cara Hunter – Close to Home

Cara Hunter – In the Dark

Cara Hunter – No Way Out

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Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson – House Of Evidence

Kim Izzo – Seven Days in May

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David Jackson – A Tapping At My Door Nathan Cody #1

David Jackson – Don’t Make a Sound Nathan Cody #3

David Jackson – Hope to Die Nathan Cody #2

David Jackson – Pariah Callum Doyle #1

Maggie James – Blackwater Lake

Maggie James – His Kidnapper’s Shoes

P.D. James – The Lighthouse

P.D. James & T.A. Critchley – The Maul And The Pear Tree

Peter James – A Twist Of  The Knife

Peter James – Dead at First Sight Roy Grace #15

Peter James – Dead If You Don’t Roy Grace #14

Peter James – Dead Man’s Time Roy Grace #9

Peter James – Love You Dead Roy Grace #12

Peter James – Need You Dead Roy Grace #13

Peter James – Want You Dead Roy Grace #10

Peter James – You Are Dead Roy Grace #11

Rebecca James – Sweet Damage

Wendy James – The Golden Child

Wendy James – The Mistake

Wendy James – Out Of The Silence

Anna Jaquiery – Death In The Rainy Season

Charlotte Jay – A Hank Of Hair

Amanda Jennings – The Cliff House

Amanda Jennings – In Her Wake

Lisa Jewell – Before I Met You

Lisa Jewell – I Found You

Lisa Jewell – The Girls

Lisa Jewell – The House We Grew Up In

Lisa Jewell – The Making of Us

Lisa Jewell – Then She Was Gone

Lisa Jewell – The Third Wife

Lisa Jewell – The Truth About Melody Browne

Lisa Jewell – Watching You 

Jennifer Johnston – This is Not a Novel

Catherine Jones – Wonder Girls

Jack Jordan – Anything For Her

Alison Joseph – The Dying Light

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Stephen Kaminski – Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk

Emma Kavanagh – Case 48: The Kidnapping of Isaiah Rae Short Story

Emma Kavanagh – Falling

Emma Kavanagh – Hidden

Emma Kavanagh – The Killer on the Wall

Emma Kavanagh – The Missing Hours

Emma Kavanagh – To Catch A Killer

Linda Kavanagh – The Secret Wife

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: The End Is Where It Begins

Erin Kelly – Broachurch: The Letter

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: Old Friends

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: Over The Side

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: Protection

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: One More Secret

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: The Leaving of Claire Ripley

Erin Kelly – Broadchurch: Thirteen Hours

Erin Kelly – He Said/She Said

Erin Kelly – The Burning Air

Erin Kelly – The Ties That Bind

Jim Kelly – The Water Clock

Claire Kendal – The Book of You

Christobel Kent – The Crooked House

Hannah Kent – Burial Rites

Hannah Kent – The Good People

Caroline Kepnes – You

Margot Kinberg – Past Tense

Judith Kinghorn – The Memory Of Lost Senses

Liza Klaussmann – Tigers in Red Weather

Renée Knight – Disclaimer

Renée Knight – The Secretary

Herman Koch – Dear Mr M

Herman Koch – The Dinner

Herman Koch – Summer House with Swimming Pool

Jeffrey H Konis – The Conversations We Never Had

Dorothy Koomson  – The Brighton Mermaid

Dorothy Koomson – The Flavours of Love

Dorothy Koomson – That Girl From Nowhere

Mary Kubica – Don’t You Cry

Mary Kubica – The Good Girl

Mary Kubica – Pretty Baby

Mary Kubica – When the Lights Go Out

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Lynda La Plante – Good Friday Tennison #3

Lynda La Plante – Murder Mile Tennison #4

Camilla Lackberg – Buried Angels

Camilla Läckberg – The Girl in the Woods

Camilla Lackberg – The Ice Child

Camilla Lackberg – The Lost Boy

Camilla Lackberg – The Stonecutter

Stephanie Lam – The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House

Ali Land – Good Me, Bad Me

Harriet Lane – Her

Shari Lapena – The Couple Next Door

Catherine Law – The September Garden

Deborah Lawrenson – The Sea Garden

Anthony Le Moignan – A Long Goodbye

Caroline Lea -When the Sky Fell Apart

Simon Lelic – The House

Simon Lelic – The Liar’s Room

Pierre Lemaitre – Blood Wedding

Pierre Lemaitre – Three Days and a Life

Judith Lennox – The Jeweller’s Wife

Judith Lennox – One Last Dance

H.A. Leuschel – Manipulated Lives

Luana Lewis – Don’t Stand So Close

Nell Leyshon – The Colour Of Milk

Alison Light – Common People

Alison Light – Mrs Woolf and the Servants

Elizabeth Little – Dear Daughter

Joan Lock – Dead Centre

Shari Low – One Day in December

Marie Belloc Lowndes – The Lodger

Natalie Lucus – Sixteen Sixty-One

Sofia Lundberg – The Red Address Book

Rosamund Lupton – The Quality of Silence

Jane Lythell – The Lie of You 

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Posted in Books I have read, Books I want to Read

Richard and Judy Spring Books 2014

RandJ

I’m always interested to see what Richard and Judy pick for their reads and here is the spring list

click on the picture above to view the original announcement!

I have already read three of the offerings for this season, Apple Tree Yard made my top 10 choices for 2013

click on the book covers for my review

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Happily-married, middle-aged Yvonne has a random encounter with a complete stranger while she is on a formal visit to the Houses of Parliament. Within minutes of meeting him in the cafeteria there, she is having raw, passionate sex in a secluded corner of the ancient building WHSmith

and the other two were very close contenders

A Commonplace Killing by Sian Busby

Historical Crime 5*'s
Historical Crime
5*’s

A Commonplace Killing is exactly that – a grubby, tawdry sex murder committed in immediate post-war London. The author wonderfully re-creates the shabbiness, bombed-out, rationed-to-the-hilt atmosphere of the shattered capital and the grey, pinched lives of those who had survived Hitler’s war WHSmith

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Laugh-out-loud funny, this brilliant, witty, and beguiling story. Don Tillman, a scientist and geneticist, has rampant Asperger’s Syndrome – but he doesn’t know it WHSmith

Two of Richard and Judy’s choices had already made it to my TBR

Longbourn by Jo Baker

longbourn jobaker

Jo Baker writes utterly convincingly about the lives of servants labouring in the Longbourn of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice WHSmith

and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield which has received some good reviews from fellow bloggers

sisterland curtissittenfeld

It’s an eerie tale of identical twin sisters who share a hidden gift. They are psychic, but one has chosen to bury her powers to lead a normal family life. The other is single and works as a medium. One day she predicts a violent earthquake in Missouri, where they live. Is she right? What does this mean for their lives? WHSmith

I’m off to take a closer look at The Never List by Koethi Zan

theneverlist koethizan

Two young women are kidnapped and imprisoned in a cellar for years by a psychopathic psychiatrist who uses them, and his other victims, for sadistic experiments…WHSmith

What are your thoughts on these choices for spring 2014?

Cleopatra’s Top 10 Books published in 2013

2013 was a great book reading year for me, I have read many great books of a variety of genres, although as usual the majority were crime fiction!  It has been a real struggle to whittle this list down to 10 but here they are, in no particular order!

Click on the book covers to read my reviews.

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

My list starts with a book set in a bookshop. This was a great book for this booklover, with references as diverse as Paddington Bear and 1984 littering the pages, great characters and a bookshop I wanted to work in!

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them…
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

Of course it was love for my children, love for my son, that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgement. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late.
A superb psychological thriller set in Devon over one claustrophobic weekend in November 2013 this book rivals Barbara Vine for one of the best books in this genre.

Dot by Araminta Hall

Women's Fiction 5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought: ‘I think it’s definitely him.’
Secrets and female relationships dominate this book. Full of delightful characters with an undertone of humour to lighten the emotions that must surely melt the hardest of hearts.

Apple Tree Yard
by Louise Doughty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.

This powerful book was my surprise find of 2013. A women in court but how and why? At its core this is a book about how we perceive ourselves, through our own eyes and what is reflected back to us in the eyes of others.

Entry Island by Peter May

Crime Fiction  5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

I had the final part of the Lewis Trilogy down as a favourite of 2013 but have decided Peter May can’t have two books on the top ten (but if you haven’t read the Lewis Trilogy I suggest you do!) so have decided his latest book set between a past on the Isle of Lewis and the present in Canada was the winner for fantastic characters along with a well plotted tale of a woman accused of murder and a past that must be found.

What Lies Within by Tom Vowler

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

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…

This was another great find part psychological thriller but containing elements of so much more; a mystery, a crime and relationships.

A Funeral for an Owl
by Jane Davis

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Times have changed since Jim Stevens chose to teach. Protocol designed to protect children now makes all pupil/teacher relationships taboo – even those that might benefit a student.

This is one of those stories that stays with you long after you have closed the book. Jane Davis Davis really does bring characters to life, mothers, fathers, friends, teachers are all perfectly described along with their actions and reactions to events. (oh and if you have copy I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements!!)

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Women's Fiction   5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in – and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
Lisa Jewell really knows how to write a great story, her books never fail to delight me as they are so much more than ‘chick-lit’ they deal with serious issues without becoming depressing. This is my favourite (I think) of all her novels.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Women's Fiction 5*'s
Women’s Fiction
5*’s

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Another great story-teller (I read What Alice Forgot after this one) with all the ingredients included; a believable plot, characters that are well-developed and writing that pulls the reader in from the first page, plus this isn’t the story you think it is going to be!

The Cry by Helen Fizgerald

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

He’s gone. And telling the truth won’t bring him back…
When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

A lot of tension in this book, this is definitely not light reading but it is certainly absorbing and haunting.

Posted in Books I have read

Top 10 Books published in 2013

2013 was a great book reading year for me, I have read many great books of a variety of genres, although as usual the majority were crime fiction! It has been a real struggle to whittle this list down to 10 but here they are, in no particular order!

Click on the book covers to read my reviews.

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

My list starts with a book set in a bookshop. This was a great book for this booklover, with references as diverse as Paddington Bear and 1984 littering the pages, great characters and a bookshop I wanted to work in!

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them…
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

Of course it was love for my children, love for my son, that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgement. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late.
A superb psychological thriller set in Devon over one claustrophobic weekend in November 2013 this book rivals Barbara Vine for one of the best books in this genre.

Dot by Araminta Hall

Women's Fiction 5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought: ‘I think it’s definitely him.’
Secrets and female relationships dominate this book. Full of delightful characters with an undertone of humour to lighten the emotions that must surely melt the hardest of hearts.

Apple Tree Yard
by Louise Doughty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.

This powerful book was my surprise find of 2013. A women in court but how and why? At its core this is a book about how we perceive ourselves, through our own eyes and what is reflected back to us in the eyes of others.

Entry Island by Peter May

Crime Fiction  5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

I had the final part of the Lewis Trilogy down as a favourite of 2013 but have decided Peter May can’t have two books on the top ten (but if you haven’t read the Lewis Trilogy I suggest you do!) so have decided his latest book set between a past on the Isle of Lewis and the present in Canada was the winner for fantastic characters along with a well plotted tale of a woman accused of murder and a past that must be found.

What Lies Within by Tom Vowler

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

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…

This was another great find part psychological thriller but containing elements of so much more; a mystery, a crime and relationships.

A Funeral for an Owl
by Jane Davis

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Times have changed since Jim Stevens chose to teach. Protocol designed to protect children now makes all pupil/teacher relationships taboo – even those that might benefit a student.

This is one of those stories that stays with you long after you have closed the book. Jane Davis Davis really does bring characters to life, mothers, fathers, friends, teachers are all perfectly described along with their actions and reactions to events. (oh and if you have copy I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements!!)

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Women's Fiction   5*
Women’s Fiction
5*

Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in – and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
Lisa Jewell really knows how to write a great story, her books never fail to delight me as they are so much more than ‘chick-lit’ they deal with serious issues without becoming depressing. This is my favourite (I think) of all her novels.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Women's Fiction 5*'s
Women’s Fiction
5*’s

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Another great story-teller (I read What Alice Forgot after this one) with all the ingredients included; a believable plot, characters that are well-developed and writing that pulls the reader in from the first page, plus this isn’t the story you think it is going to be!

The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

He’s gone. And telling the truth won’t bring him back…
When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

A lot of tension in this book, this is definitely not light reading but it is certainly absorbing and haunting.

What did you think of these books?

Does your list contain any of them?

I’d love to see your links to your best reads of 2013 (as I always need more books to add to that TBR!)

Posted in Books I have read

Super Six Sunday (25 August)

What a lovely meme and such a pretty image to go with it!

SuperSixSunday1
Super Six Sunday is an original bookish meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms and inspired by “Top Ten Tuesday” from The Broke and The Bookish . You can see the weekly schedule of themes here.

We’re happy to see so many people participating, so check back later and visit the other Super Six Sunday posts to spread the love!

Super Six Books of 2013 so far!

1

Apple Tree Yard

2

The Husband's Secret

3

Dot

4

Red Ribbons

5

Worthless Men

6

The House We Grew Up In