Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 5)

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

At the moment I am reading A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths a book set in The Forest of Dean where I lived until I made my way out in the big wide world.

A Place to Lie will be published tomorrow, 6 December 2018.



Blurb

In a dark, dark wood
In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.

There was a dark, dark house

Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth? Amazon

The last book I finished was Move to Murder by Antony M. Brown, a book I chose because it features the true crime in the murder of Julia Wallace which was notable for the phone message left by the untraceable Mr Qualtrough. What I didn’t fully appreciate that the reader is invited to ‘vote’ for the scenario that they feel fits the facts the best as part of the cold case jury. My review will follow shortly.



Blurb

The puzzling murder of Julia Wallace in Liverpool in 1931.

A telephone message is left at a chess club, instructing one of its members, insurance agent William Wallace, to meet a Mr Qualtrough. But the address given by the mystery caller does not exist and Wallace returns home to find his wife Julia bludgeoned to death.

The case turns on the telephone call. Who made it? The police thought it was Wallace, creating an alibi that might have come from an Agatha Christie thriller. Others believe Wallace innocent but disagree on the identity of the murderer. The Cold Case Jury must decide what happened in one of the most celebrated cold cases of all time. Amazon

Next I think I’ll have a last push to read a book from my own collection and read A is for Angelica by Iain Broom, one that has been sat upon my kindle since I purchased it on 2 November 2013. My reasons for choosing this book are long lost in the midst of time but I’m still intrigued.



Blurb

“My life is different now. I don’t go to work. I don’t have an office. I stay at home, hide behind curtains and make notes. I wait for something to happen.”

Gordon Kingdom struggles with the fate of his seriously-ill wife while patiently observing and methodically recording the lives of those around him: his neighbours. He has files on them all, including Don Donald (best friend and petty thief), Annie Carnaffan (lives next door, throws footballs over the fence), and Benny (the boy who paints with his eyes closed).

Then there’s Angelica, the new girl (42) on the street, with her multi-coloured toenails and her filthy temper. It’s when she arrives that Gordon’s world of half-truths really begins to unravel. Faced with a series of unexpected events and a faltering conscience, he’s left with an impossible decision.

Because in the banality of everyday life, what would you do if the unthinkable happened? Amazon

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (December 4)

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.

Today I have chosen a new to me author to feature in this meme. The synopsis to Elisabeth Carpenter’s new novel Only a Mother was intriguing as it targets an area of crime I found fascinating; how is it that some relatives, lovers or friends, maintain that a convicted person is innocent when faced with majority opinion and conviction that suggests the opposite is true?


Blurb

ONLY A MOTHER . . .
Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.

COULD LIE FOR HIM
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD BURY THE TRUTH
NetGalley

Only a Mother will be published on 27 December 2018.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1 Erica

I step outside and close my front door. Out of habit, I examine it quickly from top to bottom. My shoulders relax. The green paint is covered in tiny cracks, but there’s no writing sprayed on it today, no excrement wiped across or pushed into the keyhole. The door’s been free of graffiti for nearly eighteen months, but it won’t stay that way for long.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well there is quite a bucketful of resignation in that short paragraph isn’t there? I’m looking forward to seeing how this psychological thriller unfolds – we don’t often see mother’s in this context in crime fiction with a few notable exceptions. I can’t wait to see what this has in store.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (December 2)

Another busy week where winter has tried to make its mark with it feeling markedly colder, at least at times.

Well here we are already in December and seemingly hurtling towards Christmas! Yes, already!

 

I had a good shot at using the Gutenberg editor this week – not entirely without success, but with enough problems given that to make things easy for myself, I already had a methodology which isn’t aligned to the new system of blocks – for now I’ve switched back to the classic editor.

 

This Week on the Blog

I started this week’s posts with the results from the 19th Classic Club Spin in which I discovered that I have the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s to read Not bad going seeing as this was supposed to be a chunkster!

My first review of the week was for a book from my own bookshelf, A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie, a story of past actions having consequences in the present, set mainly in the Swiss Alps.

My second review was for The Lost Man by Jane Harper which is another raw story from this author and also set in the Australian outback.

This shortened week was rounded off with my Five of the Best for November 2014 to 2018 – I do love these posts which never fail to remind me of some of the fantastic books I’ve discovered in recent years.

This Time Last Year…

I was gearing up for Christmas by reading a book on my favourite subject, Poison. Poison Panic by Helen Barrell details the panic caused in Essex by the seemingly unstoppable rise of poisoners, particularly women poisoners!

Helen Barrell’s book, Poison Panic, delves into the facts, and the fiction, of these events using all available sources to examine the cases and to evaluate whether there was any sense of collusion between the women whose crimes feature here. She’s picked three notable women from the area Sarah Chesham Mary May and Hannah Southgate whose crimes in rural Essex led to wariness about that gentle hand at home who was in charge of preparing the food could also be slipping some of the notorious white powder into the dish!

A fascinating read which not only is informative about the women featured within the book but also gives a sense of the life and times within which they lived, and allegedly murdered!

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

Blurb

For a few years in the 1840s, Essex was notorious in the minds of Victorians as a place where women stalked the winding country lanes looking for their next victim to poison with arsenic. It’s a terrible image – and also one that doesn’t seem to have much basis in truth – but this was a time of great anxiety.

The 1840s were also known as the ‘hungry ’40s’, when crop failures pushed up food prices and there was popular unrest across Europe. The decade culminated in a cholera epidemic in which tens of thousands of people in the British Isles died. It is perhaps no surprise that people living through that troubled decade were captivated by the stories of the ‘poisoners’: that death was down to ‘white powder’ and the evil intentions of the human heart.

Sarah Chesham, Mary May and Hannah Southgate are the protagonists of this tale of how rural Essex, in a country saturated with arsenic, was touched by the tumultuous 1840s. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

In keeping with the festive spirit I am delighted to have received a copy of My Mother, the Psychopath by Olivia Rayne, which is to be published by Ebury Press on 24 January 2019.



Blurb

‘When people met her they thought how lovely she was, this attractive woman with a beautiful laugh. But she was one person in public and another behind closed doors. Who would she be today? The loving mother? The trusted teacher? The monster destroying my life?’

Olivia has been afraid ever since she can remember. Out of sight, she was subjected to cruelty and humiliation at the hands of the one person who should have loved and protected her at all times – her mother, Josephine.

While appearing completely normal to the outside world, Josephine displayed all the signs of being a psychopath – unbeknown to her daughter until adulthood – and Olivia grew up feeling scared, worthless and exploited. Even when she found the courage to cut ties, her mother found new ways to manipulate and deceive, attempting to destroy her life with a vicious campaign of abuse.

Now Olivia has come to terms with her past and gives a fascinating, harrowing and deeply unsettling insight into what it’s like growing up with a psychopathic parent. Amazon

I have also been extremely fortunate to receive a copy of the latest book by Fiona Barton, the author of The Widow and The Child, both of which I really enjoyed. The Suspect will be published on 24 January 2019 by Random House UK.



Blurb

‘The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.’

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . . NetGalley

And waiting in the wings for my pleasure is The Long Divorce by Edmund Crispin a book I simply had to buy having had such fun reading The Moving Toyshop earlier this year.

Blurb

The peaceful and prosperous village of Cotten Abbas has a very unpleasant problem.

Long inhabited by a collection of proudly offbeat locals, there has been a recent influx of the newly rich and very well to do… and not everyone is happy about it.

New arrivals are receiving anonymous letters that know a little too much about dark secrets and dirty laundry and they don’t seem likely to stop.

Gervase Fen is summoned to the scene, but soon finds more than he bargained for. A suicide on Friday, a murder by Sunday, and some villagers that seem hell bent on keeping this mystery unsolved… Amazon

What have you found to read?

tbr-watch

Having done a quick compare with the TBR from last year, I’m still down although it has risen slightly to a healthy 168
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 36
NetGalley Books –19
Audio Books –1

 

I have added one reviews of my own books since my last count 3 full book tokens!

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 21)

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

My current read is The Lie of You by Jane Lythell which has been on my kindle waiting to be read since 2014!



Blurb

One woman’s fear is a another woman’s weapon…

”When I look back on my relationship with Kathy I marvel at how naive she was, how little she knew.
But then, she always thought she had everything: the job; the baby; the friends; and him. She thought she was safe. She thought that nothing could touch her perfect world.
She should never have trusted me.”

A woman sets out to destroy a female colleague in this chilling psychological thriller. Amazon

The last book I finished was Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea listened to in audio format. a fascinating mystery presented as a true crime documentary – very clever!


Blurb

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life. Amazon

Next I plan on reading The Clocks by Agatha Christie, still struggling with far too much work I need to keep chipping away at the classics club list without having to invest too much time in a chunkster!

Blurb

As instructed, stenographer Sheila Webb let herself into the house at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. It was then that she made a grisly discovery: the body of a man sprawled across the living room floor. Goodreads

So that’s my weeks reading sorted – what does yours look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 20)

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.

My opener this week is from A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths which is due to be published on 6 December 2018. I requested a copy of this book purely on the basis of the location as I lived in the Forest of Dean from the ages of nine to seventeen.


Blurb


In a dark, dark wood

In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.

There was a dark, dark house

Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PART ONE

Present Day

She knows she’s in trouble the moment she steps into the street. Corralled by looming buildings and confused by the dazzle from fiercely lit shops and headlamps, the danger that is only a heartbeat away has her braced for attack. With her bag secured across her front like a shield, she slips her hand inside to clasp the knife. Her bag, with its sharp edges and thick leather strap, works as a weapon too. She’s grateful for it. And with everyone and everything a threat to her safety, she needs all the help she can get. Overtaking an androgynous couple in dark winter clothes, she spins her head to the amplified rush of tyres on wet tarmac and skids on the rain-polished pavement. Taking a moment to steady herself, she watches a dying bird at her feet – its frantic flapping is distressing, until she realises it’s nothing more than a collection of dead leaves.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well there is a lot of adrenaline in that opening paragraph and I for one want to know why.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 18)

Another busy week where winter has tried to make its mark with it feeling markedly colder, at least at times.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a review for The Golden Child by Wendy James, a chilling psychological thriller.

My excerpt post was selected from a book from my own bookshelf, The Lie of You by Jane Lythell a psychological thriller based in an office.

This Week in Books had me featuring the authors Jane Harper, Eliza Graham and Tana French.

My review of the fabulous The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes followed on Thursday.

My final review of the week was for The Lies We Told by Camilla Way, making this a bumper week for reading my own books.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister a fabulous novel which gives the reader a moral dilemma with a ‘sliding doors’ scenario, great characters who behave realistically and superb plotting all coming together to give a fresh feel despite the elements appearing in other novels.

The scenario that sets the scene is a woman is going home after a night out and she feels she is being followed. Down some dark steps the man falls to his death – in one scenario the woman carries on and pretend it didn’t happen; in the other she calls for help.

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

Blurb

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.
Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Getting faster.
You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.
You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.
Now what?

Call 999

Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope your husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run

Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. For ever.
Which will it be? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

At the end of last month we had our annual book sale on the island that raises funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind and I’m pleased to say I managed to pick up some excellent books including two by Reginald Hill to add to my collection;

Number 7 in the Dalziel & Pascoe series by Reginald Hill is Deadheads which was published back in 1983.

Patrick Aldermann, an accountant with a company that makes toilets, is passionate about his roses, which he prunes ruthlessly, ‘deadheading’ any blossoms a minute past their prime so as to make space for the younger blooms. Not much of a gardener, Dalziel views Patrick as a strong contender for the title of Most Boring Man in Yorkshire. Pascoe, though, has noticed that senior executives at the toilet company ‘gentlemen, you might say, just a minute past their prime’ have an unlucky habit of dying. And when they do, it’s all but inevitably Patrick who, like a lucky young bloom, is poised to take their place.

My second find On Beulah Heights by Reginald Hill published in 1998 is the 17th book in the Dalziel & Pascoe series.

Blurb

Fifteen years ago they moved everyone out of Dendale. They needed a new reservoir and an old community seemed a cheap price to pay. But four inhabitants of the valley could not be moved, for nobody knew where they were: three little girls who had gone missing, and the prime suspect in their disappearance, Benny Lightfoot.

This was Andy Dalziel’s worst case and now he looks set to relive it. Another child goes missing in the next valley, and old fears arise as someone sprays the deadly message on Danby bridge: BENNY’S BACK! Amazon

Another favourite author who I have a selection of their novels on the TBR is Kate Atkinson but I didn’t have a copy of When Will There be Good News so I was delighted to find a copy for my bookshelf although I did read this at the time it was published in 2008.



Blurb

Three lives come together in unexpected and thrilling ways in Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News?

On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason’s family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna’s life is changed forever…

On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound…

At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency…

These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson. Blurb

I also purchased a brand new book, Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone having been intrigued by the premise and the reviews I’ve read.



Blurb

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.
Just as he did to her. Amazon

What have you found to read?

tbr-watch

I’m delighted to record that the TBR is simply melting away with only 165!!!
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 36
NetGalley Books –16
Audio Books –1

I have added three reviews of my own books since my last count and so even with one new book bought since my last TBR I still have 2 2/3 worth of book tokens!


Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 14)

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 book that I have just started reading is The Lost Man by Jane Harper which has received some rave reviews.

Blurb

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects… Amazon

The last book I finished was a historical novel from my own bookshelf: The One I Was by Eliza Graham stretches back to the Second World War in this poignant story.

Blurb

Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.

As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
Amazon

Next I plan on reading a long-awaited novel from one of my favourite authors Tana French with her intriguing sounding book The Wych Elm.

Blurb

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself. Amazon

So that’s my weeks reading sorted – what does yours look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 13)

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.

As regular readers to Cleopatra Loves Books are aware I have been making a huge effort in 2018 to clear some of those books that have been forgotten about on the TBR – and so as the year draws to a close I am having one final push to read some of the older entries – Today I’m sharing a book that I bought back in 2014 and The Lie of You by Jane Lythall has sat forgotten on my kindle pretty much ever since!



Blurb

One woman’s fear is a another woman’s weapon…

”When I look back on my relationship with Kathy I marvel at how naive she was, how little she knew.
But then, she always thought she had everything: the job; the baby; the friends; and him. She thought she was safe. She thought that nothing could touch her perfect world.
She should never have trusted me.”

A woman sets out to destroy a female colleague in this chilling psychological thriller. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Heja

April

Kathy thinks she has everything: the job; the baby; the friends and him. But she does not have my will. It is all surface with her. She has no hidden places. She does not know about her dark side, or about others’. She always believes the best of people

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now that doesn’t give too much away does it? But, combined with the synopsis I’m hoping that this will make me love my job, and colleagues, even more than I already do 😉

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 7)

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 am currently reading The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes which is due to be published on 22 November 2018. This psychological story has drawn me in so far although needless to say I’m still waiting for some pertinent questions to be answered.

Blurb

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married… Amazon

The last book I finished was also a psychological thriller which just goes to show after months of cutting down on this sub-genre it still holds plenty of appeal. Camilla Way had wowed me with her previous novel Watching Edie so I was keen to read her latest novel The Lies We Told.

Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

Next I am planning to read another of my own books A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie after so enjoying her previous novel Sewing the Shadows Together.




Blurb

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her. Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago? What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these books take your fancy this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 6)

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.

My opener this week has been chosen from what for me has been a long awaited book; The Wych Elm by Tana French.

Blurb


‘For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.’

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

I’ve always considered myself to be, basically a lucky person. I don’t mean I’m one of those people who pick multi-million-euro lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors. I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about. I wasn’t abused as a kid, or bullied in school; my parents didn’t split up or die or have any addiction problems or even get into any but the most trivial arguments; none of my girlfriends ever cheated on me, at least as far as I know, or dumped me in traumatic ways; I never got hit by a car or caught anything worse than chicken pox or even had to wear braces. Not that I spent much time thinking about this, but when it occurred to me, it was with a satisfying sense that everything was going exactly as it should.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well I was already looking forward to this one but opening the cover and remembering just how quickly Tana French can grab my attention, even when scene-setting, merely underlined the point for me.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?