Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 20)

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 Ruin by Dervla McTiernan a multi-layered crime fiction novel set in Galway. It is the first in another new series, I have a feeling that 2019 will be the year of crime fiction series at Cleopatra Loves Books.

Blurb

February 1993
On his first week on the job, Garda Cormac Reilly responds to a call at a decrepit country house to find two silent, neglected children waiting for him – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack. Their mother lies dead upstairs.

March 2013
Twenty years later, Cormac has left his high-flying career as a detective in Dublin and returned to Galway. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him.

What ties a recent suicide to the woman’s death so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust? Amazon

The last book I finished was They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie this was the second in the audible collection ‘More from Marple’s Casebook’ which is accompanying me on my walks at the moment.

Blurb

A man is shot at in a juvenile reform home – but someone else dies…

Miss Marple senses danger when she visits a friend living in a Victorian mansion which doubles as a rehabilitiation centre for delinquents. Her fears are confirmed when a youth fires a revolver at the administrator, Lewis Serrocold. Neither is injured. But a mysterious visitor, Mr Gilbrandsen, is less fortunate – shot dead simultaneously in another part of the building.

Pure coincidence? Miss Marple thinks not, and vows to discover the real reason for Mr Gilbrandsen’s visit. Amazon

Next I intend to read Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson which will be published on 7 March 2019 by Faber & Faber.

Blurb

They had a secret, the two of them, and there was no better way to start a friendship than with a secret.’

When Hen and Lloyd move into their new house in West Dartford, Mass., they’re relieved to meet, at their first block party, the only other seemingly-childless couple in their neighbourhood, Matthew and Mira Dolamore. Turns out they live in the Dutch Colonial immediately next door.

When they’re invited over for dinner, however, things take a sinister turn when Hen thinks she sees something suspicious in Matthew’s study. Could this charming, mild-mannered College Professor really be hiding a dark secret, one that only Hen, whose been battling her own problems with depression and medication, could know about? Lloyd certainly doesn’t seem to believe her, and so, forced together, Hen and Matthew start to form an unlikely bond. But who, if anyone, is really in danger? NetGalley

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 19)

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

I read an awful lot of crime fiction but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other genres, I do, and Kelly Rimmer is one of the authors whose ‘Women’s Fiction’ appeals when I fancy a change from blood and gore.

Her latest novel, based on her only family history, The Things We Cannot Say is due to be published on 7 March 2019.

Blurb

2019. Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.

WWII. Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn’t know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

2019. In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Prologue Soviet Union – 1942

The priest presiding over my wedding was half-starved, half-frozen and wearing rags, but he was resourceful; he’d blessed a chunk of mouldy bread from breakfast to serve as a communion wafer.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well for one sentence that conjures up an entire backdrop to the book for me – what do you think?

 Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 13)

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 Death of a Dancer by Jill McGown, number three in the Lloyd and Hill series. I originally read many of these books many years ago on loan from the library, but was thrilled to find them published for the kindle a few years ago – sadly I only made it to book two then but here I am picking up the thread again after a break.



Blurb

The murder of a deputy headmaster’s wife on the night of the Sesquicentennial Ball at a minor-league boys’ public school brings together the team of Inspector Lloyd and Judy Hill. Diana Hamlyn’s body has been found on the school’s playing field. Death had been caused by the traditional blunt instrument, her clothing was disarrayed, her underclothes missing. It was a particularly disturbing killing.

As Lloyd and Hill begin the harrowing routine of a murder investigation they rapidly learn that the woman had been a nymphomaniac – her conquests many, her fidelities few, the list of suspects for her killing appallingly long. That list includes her husband, her lovers and her colleagues, none with perfect alibis, some ostentatiously lying. Amazon

The last book I finished was The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie although strictly speaking I listened to the book, rather than read it! Miss Marple did it again using the voice of June Whitfield!

Blurb

Lymstock is a town with more than its share of shameful secrets – a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate-mail causes only a minor stir.

But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note said ‘I can’t go on’. Only Miss Marple questions the coroner’s verdict of suicide. Was this the work of a poison-pen? Or of a poisoner? Amazon

Next up I think I’ll step away from murder for a moment and read The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis.


Blurb

A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.

Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…
Read her letter. Remember her story… Amazon

 

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 12)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by 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.

One of the sad things about being a book lover is the inability to read every single book you want to – the more you read, the more authors you find to love which simply multiplies all the books you want to read. So although 2019 is the year I embrace the TBR, I do so with the knowledge that it is all to easy for books to slip between the cracks.

I ‘discovered’ Peter Swanson in 2015 following the publication of his superb novel The Kind Worth Killing. This was followed by The Girl with a Clock for a Heart and Her Every Fear but I still have last year’s book All the Beautiful Lies on the TBR so I am determined not to lag any further behind and read Before She Knew Him which will be published on 7 March 2019.

Blurb

‘They had a secret, the two of them, and there was no better way to start a friendship than with a secret.’

When Hen and Lloyd move into their new house in West Dartford, Mass., they’re relieved to meet, at their first block party, the only other seemingly-childless couple in their neighbourhood, Matthew and Mira Dolamore. Turns out they live in the Dutch Colonial immediately next door.

When they’re invited over for dinner, however, things take a sinister turn when Hen thinks she sees something suspicious in Matthew’s study. Could this charming, mild-mannered College Professor really be hiding a dark secret, one that only Hen, whose been battling her own problems with depression and medication, could know about? Lloyd certainly doesn’t seem to believe her, and so, forced together, Hen and Matthew start to form an unlikely bond. But who, if anyone, is really in danger?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

WITNESS

CHAPTER 1

The two couples met at a neighbourhood block party, the third Saturday in September.
Hen hadn’t wanted to go, but Lloyd convinced her. “It’s just down the street. If you hate it, you can turn around and come straight back.”
“That’s exactly what I can’t do,” Hen said. “I need to stay at least an hour or else people will notice.”
“They really won’t.”
“They really will. I can’t just look around at my new neighbours , then turn and leave.”
‘I’m not going if you don’t go.”
“Fine,” Hen said, calling his bluff knowing that he’d go alone if pressed. Lloyd was silent for a moment. He was in front of the living room bookshelf, rearranging.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now granted this isn’t an action packed opening but I do think it is one that sets the scene, and more pertinently, the characters really well in just a few lines. That combined with the synopsis which promises intrigue by the bucket load has me convinced this is a book I will enjoy.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 6)

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 Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White which is on The Classics Club reading list because I am determined to make sure I read twelve books from this list in 2019.

Blurb

The Wheel Spins is the novel about young and bright Iris Carr, who is on her way back to England after spending a holiday somewhere in the Balkans. After she is left alone by her friends, Iris catches the train for Trieste and finds company in Miss Froy, chatty elderly English woman. When she wakes up from a short nap, she discovers that her elderly travelling companion seems to have disappeared from the train. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is on the verge of her nerves. She is helped by a young English traveller, and the two proceed to search the train for clues to the old woman’s disappearance. Amazon

The last book I finished was the tenth in the Kim Stone series, Dead Memories by Angela Marsons was a fantastic addition to this brilliant series.

Blurb

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim? Amazon

Next up I plan to read The Secretary by Renée Knight which I’m really keen to read having loved Disclaimer, the author’s first book.

Blurb

Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?

Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve – the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.

There’s a fine line between loyalty and obsession. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room . . . Amazon

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 5)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by 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 The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides will be published. This book has garnered a fair amount of attention and has been billed as “The record-breaking 2019 thriller everyone is talking about

 


Blurb

ALICIA

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Part One

He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.

Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

1

Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband.

They had been married for seven years.
They were both artists – Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer. He had a distinctive style, shooting semi-starved, semi-naked women at strange, unflattering angles. Since his death, the price of his photographs has increased astronomically. I find his stuff rather slick and shallow to be honest. It has no one of the visceral quality of Alicia’s best work. Of course I don’t know enough about art to say whether Alicia Berenson will stand the test of time as her painter. Her talent will always be overshadowed by her notoriety, so it’s hard to be objective.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Having read the prologue followed by this opening chapter I’m certainly interested to find out more…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 30)

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

Well we are nearly at the end of January and whilst I haven’t read anywhere near as many books as I did last year, I am back to a comfortable number per week something that I am sure has been helped by my more relaxed read what I feel attitude.

The last book I read was one that I picked up off the back of fellow blogger, Fictionophile’s review. For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood is the first in a new crime fiction series – yes another one – and whereas previously the book would have sat on my TBR for an age while I scheduled it in, I wanted to read it, so I did! Did I like it, well you’ll have to wait for the review but I’ve bought the next in the series…

Blurb

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness.

The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more… Amazon

And I was on a roll, the book I’m currently reading I also bought a copy of because of the wonderful reviews in the blogosphere… like this one from Janal who blogs at Keeper of Pages. The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts took my fancy, I bought my copy 27 January and as you can see, I’m already stuck in!

Blurb

THREE CHILDREN WENT OUT TO PLAY. ONLY TWO CAME BACK.

The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again… Amazon

Next up I’m reading a review copy, but as it is the eleventh in the Ruth Galloway series that I absolutely LOVE, I’m all revved up for The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths.



Blurb

DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to ‘go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there’. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle’s baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?

Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh – another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle – trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago.

As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn’t save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly. Amazon

Admittedly the week is looking crime heavy, even by my standards but I certainly can’t complain.

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (January 29)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by 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.

On 12 February 2019 The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott will be let loose to the eagerly awaiting fans of its chief protagonist DCI Tom Douglas. This is the eighth book in this series set in Manchester and for reasons only another booklover will understand, I’m unreasonably proud of the fact that I ‘discovered’ this author shortly after her first book was published, around the time that I first owned a kindle. Ever since, I have eagerly awaited the latest instalment. Furthermore it wasn’t until later that I realised that she is a fellow Channel Island dweller.

Blurb

Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school.
And she’s a good liar.

She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Monday

1

We all lie. To ourselves and to each other. We make excuses by referring to our untruths as fibs or white lies, trivialising them as harmless. Or we claim that they are necessary to shelter others from hurt. However we try to justify them, whatever their shape or form, they are still lies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I can’t disagree with this opening and when coupled with the synopsis (and title) it’s obvious that lies are at the heart of this novel.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 23)

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 Day of the Dead by Nicci French, the eight and final part to the series featuring Freida Klein.

Blurb

At long last, a final reckoning is coming for Frieda Klein…

On a north London high street, a runaway vehicle crashes to a halt, but the man in the driving seat was murdered a week earlier.

On Hampstead Heath, a bonfire blazes: in the flames lies the next victim.

As autumn leaves fall, a serial killer runs amok in the capital, playing games with the police. The death toll is rising fast, and the investigation is floundering.

But this is no ordinary killer, and every new victim is intended as a message to just one woman – psychologist Freida Klein.

And the message is very simple.

You’re next. . .

Frieda Klein’s duel with her dark nemesis is finally coming to a climax – and only one can make it out alive. Amazon

The last book I finished was The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott in her series featuring Tom Douglas and if anything it was even better than the six that preceded it!

Blurb

Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school.
And she’s a good liar.

She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life.

She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

Next I am planning to read a bit of classic crime fiction, not one from my list this time though. And Death Came Too by Richard Hull was originally published in 1939.


Blurb

After three nights of celebration in the humid heat of August, four friends weigh up a very particular request to visit Y Bryn House. Tired and restless, they begrudgingly accept the invitation…

But upon their arrival, their host is no where to be seen. A man plays an odd game of solitaire, a strange woman wafts in and out of the room before fleeing out of the back door. Becoming all the more concerned for their host’s welfare, their worst suspicions are confirmed when a police constable saunters in, has a drink, and announces that Mr Yeldham has been found stabbed next to a lit fireplace.

Who had the motive and means to kill Yeldham? With the odd woman missing, the clock is ticking to solve this case before the four friends are accused of murder.

And Death Came Too is another golden age mystery from the sardonic and sly Richard Hull. Blurb

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

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (January 22)

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.

Having requested books with something approaching abandon that I’m sure I’m going to regret when I have too many to read in too little time it does mean I have some fabulous books to choose from. One such book is The Secretary by Renée Knight who wrote Disclaimer. The Secretary will be published on 21 February 2019.

Blurb

Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?

Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve – the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.

There’s a fine line between loyalty and obsession. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room . . .
NetGalley

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

CHAPTER ONE

The secretary is the most dangerous person in the room. I couldn’t help smiling when I first read that sentence. It was in one of those old-fashioned detective novels; a cosy, drawing-room whodunnit, its pages littered with dead bodies. I curled up amongst them, pored over the details of their savage ends without feeling the least discomfort, safe in the knowledge that all would be well, each thread tied up, the criminal bought to justice. Three cheers for the clever sleuth. Real life is not like that. There are always loose ends, untidy fraying edges, however hard one might try to keep things neat. And justice? Justice is something I lost faith in long ago. I’ve read An Unquiet Woman countless times now – it’s one of the few books I bought with me to The Laurels, and on nights when I can’t sleep, it’s the book I read for, it’s the book that sends me off.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well the author knows her audience, I already have so many questions about the book, The Laurels and the secretary!

What do you think? Would you keep reading?