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?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (January 20)

Well here we are the 20th January and my reading and blogging mojo has remained intact, much to my relief. To celebrate I have a stack of new books to look forward to.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a review of an audiobook which is set around a true crime TV series; Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea which was both a great structure for listening to and introduced me to a new author via the wonderful book blogging community.

My excerpt post was taken from The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths which will be published by Quercus on 7 February 2019.

This Week in Books featured the authors Alex & Marcus Lewis, Truman Capote and Victoria Helen Stone

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg got a very positive review from this reader for the brilliant portrayal of a life as witnessed with people those she has met along the way. Now all too often the names scored through in ninety-six year old Doris’s address book and the word ‘dead’ written beside them.

On Friday I explained via my review how the fictionalised version of the Forest of Dean worked against my full immersion in A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths even though it is entirely fitting with this very creepy book.

I finished the week by determinedly ignoring the political news of the week and concentrated on a post about bookshelves as a response to Marie Kondo’s alleged assertion that 30 books is the maximum any house should hold.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward and I was exceptionally lucky to be able to read it in its home setting in the Peak District while on a weekend break in Leek.

A Patient Fury is the third in the series featuring DC Childs and it is a solid police procedural but in addition Sarah Ward gives us a plot that is both credible and yet audacious. The lines of enquiry are followed but there is more beneath the surface than trying to find the answer to the three main questions: means, motive and opportunity; the lid is also lifted on family life, the parts that we often don’t want to acknowledge.

The writing is both clear and compelling. As the author has allowed one of her detectives to move to another Police Authority it has allowed a new character to step into the team mixing up the dynamics most satisfactorily and will hopefully allow the series to continue to grow and delight for many more books yet.

If you haven’t read this series and you love well-written crime fiction, I suggest you add them all to your bookshelf.

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



Blurb

When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.

But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.
What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

Stacking the Shelves

As I said earlier there have been more additions to the bookshelves in their various forms this week and I have some older acquisitions still to share. It therefore seems sensible to split them between formats again this week.

From NetGalley I am delighted to have received a copy of My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates who is one of those authors whose books I either love or occasionally hate. In other words someone whose novels provoke strong emotions! This book isn’t due to be published until 6 June 2019 though.

Blurb

A brilliant and thought-provoking novel about family, loyalty and betrayal

Once I’d been Daddy’s favourite. Before something terrible happened.

Violet Rue is the baby of the seven Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What’s more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family – to betray the family – is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever.

Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality and identity, this is a dark story with a tense and propulsive atmosphere – Joyce Carol Oates at her very best. NetGalley

For my kindle I have purchased a copy of For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood.

This is a police procedural set in the UK and recommended by a Canadian Blogger. this was the winner in her survey on which UK Police Procedural series she should start first and is now endorsed by one of my most trusted book bloggers Fictionphile. If you haven’t visited her blog and been wowed by her Cover Love, I really do urge you to hop on over and pay her a visit. I can guarantee you will get a warm welcome.

Blurb

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

My audio selection is More from Marple’s Casebook by Agatha Christie this Radio 4 dramatisation of seven of the Miss Marple stories was chosen shortly before the demise of the leading lady June Whitfield.

Blurb

June Whitfield stars as Miss Marple in seven suspenseful full-cast radio dramatisation

These BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations, based on four novels and three short stories by Agatha Christie, showcase seven of Miss Marple’s most ingenious mysteries.

The Moving Finger, They Do It With Mirrors, Nemesis and Sleeping Murder dramatised by Michael Bakewell and directed by Enyd Williams

Tape-Measure Murder, The Case of the Perfect Maid and Sanctuary dramatised by Joy Wilkinson and directed by Gemma Jenkins. Amazon

I was hugely lucky to receive some physical books as gifts for Christmas and one that I am very eager to read is Peter Swanson’s All the Beautiful Lies, given that his previous books delighted me the synopsis for this one sounds equally appealing.


Blurb

On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.

But who really is Alice, his father’s much younger second wife? In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past. And as her story entwines with Harry’s in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening – will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings? Amazon

tbr-watchI haven’t cleared any books out of the TBR this week except for the 3 I have read.

With a few acquisitions the total this week is 174

Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 35
NetGalley Books –20
Audio Books –5

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 16)

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 Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Story, one that has its roots in revenge! I say you can’t beat a cold hard revenge story to get the year off to a good start!

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

The last book I finished was a memoir, I’ve read a few of these lately all with the thread of rubbish parents of various types running through them. I’m not just interested in the parents though, what I like to see is how the ‘children’ strike out and lead successful lives. Tell Me Who I Am by Alex & Marcus Lewis fits the brief perfectly.

Blurb

Imagine waking up one day to discover that you have forgotten everything about your life. Your only link with the past, your only hope for the future, is your identical twin.

Now imagine, years later, discovering that your twin had not told you the whole truth about your childhood, your family, and the forces that had shaped you. Why the secrets? Why the silences? You have no choice but to begin again.

This has been Alex’s reality: a world where memories are just the stories people tell you, where fact and fiction are impossible to distinguish. With dogged courage he has spent years hunting for the truth about his hidden past and his remarkable family. His quest to understand his true identity has revealed shocking betrayals and a secret tragedy, extraordinary triumph over crippling adversity and, above all, redemption founded on brotherly love.

Marcus his twin brother has sometimes been a reluctant companion on this journey, but for him too it has led to staggering revelations and ultimately the shedding of impossible burdens.

Their story spans continents and eras, from 1950s debutantes and high society in the Home Counties to a remote island in the Pacific and 90s raves. Disturbing, funny, heart-breaking and affirming, Alex and Marcus’s determination to rebuild their lives makes us look afresh at how we choose to tell our stories.
Amazon

Next up I need to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote as this was the winner of the Classic Club Spin #19 which took place at the end of November and needs to be read and reviewed by 31 January 2019. I am determined to read my allotted 12 classic club reads this year so best get off on the right foot!

Blurb

It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes sideways and once in a while – down.

Pursued by to Salvatore ‘Sally’ Tomato, the Mafia sugar-daddy doing life in Sing Sing and ‘Rusty’ Trawler, the blue-chinned, cuff-shooting millionaire man about women about town, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction. Amazon

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

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (January 15)

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.

Well my reading pace has picked up in 2019 and I’m delighted to share the opening from a book I plan to read very soon indeed; The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths is the eleventh episode in the Dr Ruth Galloway series which is due to be published on 7 February 2019.


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

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

CHAPTER 1

12 February 2016

DCI Nelson,

Well, here we are again. Truly our end is our beginning. That corpse you buried in your garden, has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? You must have wondered whether I, too was buried deep in the earth. Oh ye of little faith. You must have known that I would rise again.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is actually one of my favourite of all the series that I follow and I am seriously excited to be meeting up with Nelson and Ruth again especially as the start of this letter is weird. What corpse is in Nelson’s garden?

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (January 13)

Well my first weekly wrap up post of 2019 is here already and I’m pleased to say I have actually read and reviewed some books this week.

In short I had a bit of a reading/blogging crisis towards the end of 2018 which in part I am blaming my desire to cut down on the TBR by restricting my purposes throughout 2018. I did really well but as the choices on my own TBR became less attractive the aim of the project actually put the brakes on my reading full stop.

But this is a new year and although I am hoping not to purchase numerous books with wild abandon, I will be carrying out regular clear outs on the TBR assigning those of my own books that I have no wish to read either to the virtual bin (eBooks) or handing them off to charity shops (physical books).

On the plus side my break from blogging does mean  I have a few books to review in hand, this week I began by clearing off those read towards the end of November 2018.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a review of a book that was published on Thursday, Jane Fallon’s Tell Me a Secret switched her usual revenge on men or friends to a work colleague. The story told with the author’s trademark eye for what makes people tick and despite it all the result is a light-hearted look at life.

My excerpt post was taken from a book I have already read; To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh, which will be published by Orion on 24 January 2019.

This Week in Books featured the authors Robert Thorogood, Sofia Lundberg and Fiona Barton.

This was followed by my review of a true crime book that I selected from NetGalley way back in 2016 but didn’t read as I felt I probably needed to watch the connected Netflix series Making a Murderer first. That didn’t happen until the end of 2018. The Innocent Killer by Michael Griesbach was interesting in parts but I felt let down by the amount of bias in the account.

I then reviewed The Wych Elm by Tana French, the author of the Dublin Series, who has now penned this standalone book. This was crime fiction which concentrated on the chief protagonist and looked at society and the beliefs we tell ourselves and each other as well as a solid mystery of how there came to be a skull in a tree!

My last review of the week was for another true crime, this one a historical one set in 1931 which has stumped crime writers ever since. Move to Murder by Antony M Brown like the other two books currently in the series, is linked to a website which holds some of the ‘evidence’ used as well as giving the reader the opportunity to vote for the most likely scenario.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Close to Home by Cara Hunter, later on in the year I read In The Dark, the second in the series which features Adam Fawley, and currently have an ARC of the third No Way Out which is due out later this year.

The book was an instant winner for me. Number one the characters well-formed although I have a feeling some will be universally disliked although Adam Fawley is a likeable detective, not an alcoholic although he does have a bit of baggage, but who doesn’t and it’s the kind of problem which is likely to produce a hefty amount of sympathy. He has a good team who are in the main supportive of each other, a fairly inoffensive bit of rivalry between a couple of officers but not the angst ridden teams with endless pressure piled on from above that is the normal crime fiction fare.

Secondly the plot was great – there are multiple strands and there was no doubt in my mind that some rigorous editing had taken place to ensure that they were all kept straight as the story progressed. If that weren’t enough the structure of the book whist not being wacky so it becomes bigger than the story itself was different enough to give a ‘fresh feel’ to this crime fiction novel.

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

Blurb

HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE?

Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.

That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2018, CLOSE TO HOME is the new crime thriller series to get addicted to. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Unsurprisingly I’ve done a fair bit of stacking the old shelves since the clock struck midnight on 1 January 2019.  To keep the list to a minimum I’m going to share one from each type of book this week.

 

From NetGalley I have a copy of The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister who is one of the new authors that have really wowed me over the last couple of years.  This book isn’t due to be published until 18 April 2019 but I’m going to have to read it long before then!

Blurb

It’s the day her father will be released from jail. Izzy English has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap? Amazon

For my kindle I have purchased a copy of Day of the Dead by Nicci French, the eighth and last book in the Freida Klein series which I’ve been longing to read for a while.

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

My audio selection is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman as this seemed to be in a similar vein to other books I’ve chosen to listen to, rather than read, although I’m slightly concerned by the ‘heartbreaking tag’ as that may cause me some issues on my daily walk home from work.

Blurb

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine? Amazon

And in physical book format I have been purchasing some of the books I will need to crack on with my reads for The Classic Club, something I’m determined to do in 2019.  One of the books I want to read is The Saplings by Noel Streatfeild, the author being one of my favourite in childhood.


Blurb

Noel Streatfeild is best known as a writer for children, but had not thought of writing for them until persuaded to re-work her first novel as Ballet Shoes; this had sold ten million copies by the time of her death.

Saplings (1945), her tenth book for adults, is also about children: a family with four of them, to whom we are first introduced in all their secure Englishness in the summer of 1939. ‘Her purpose is to take a happy, successful, middle-class pre-war family – and then track in miserable detail the disintegration and devastation which war brought to tens of thousands of such families,’ writes the psychiatrist Dr Jeremy Holmes in his Afterword. Her ‘supreme gift was her ability to see the world from a child’s perspective’ and ‘she shows that children can remain serene in the midst of terrible events as long as they are handled with love and openness.’ She understood that ‘the psychological consequences of separating children from their parents was glossed over in the rush to ensure their physical survival… It is fascinating to watch Streatfeild casually and intuitively anticipate many of the findings of developmental psychology over the past fifty years.’

‘A study of the disintegration of a middle-class family during the turmoil of the Second World War, and quite shocking’ wrote Sarah Waters in the Guardian. Amazon

As mentioned at the start of this post the TBR is being culled and I no longer feel I ‘must’ read books I’ve bought but that no longer interest me, however to keep an eye on the running total I intend to continue to keep track of the various ups and downs.

tbr-watchThis week it is standing a respectable and appealing 170

Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 36
NetGalley Books –16
Audio Books –4

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 9)

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 Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg a wonderful story that has transported me to Sweden, through Paris and to America, and I’ve not finished it yet!

Blurb

A heartwarming debut about 96-year-old Doris, who writes down the memories of her eventful life as she pages through her decades-old address book. But the most profound moment of her life is still to come …
Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny her American grand-niece, and her only relative give her great joy and remind her of her own youth.

When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper. In writing down the stories of her colourful past—working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War.

Can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, to unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?

The last book I finished was full-on crime fiction in the shape of The Suspect by Fiona Barton. This story will set a chill through anyone who has a child travelling in Thailand but there is a good surprise for fans of the author in a catch-up with some characters we’ve met before. The Suspect will be published on 24 January 2019.

 

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

Blurb

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 . . . Amazon

Next up I plan to read Murder in the Caribbean by Robert Thorogood in order to get some winter sunshine with the fourth in this delightful series by the creator and writer of the BBC One TV series.

Blurb

DI Richard Poole is hot, bothered and fed up. He’s stuck on the tropical island of Saint-Marie, forced to live in a rickety old shack on a beach, and there isn’t a decent cup of tea to be found anywhere.

When a boat explodes in the harbour, Richard and his team soon realise there’s a new murderer on the loose. But who is it? And why did the killer leave behind a ruby at the scene of the crime?

As the police dig deeper, they uncover secrets that go back decades, and a crime from the past that can never be forgiven.

Worse still, they soon realise this is only the beginning. They’ve got to catch the killer before there’s another death in paradise… Amazon

So that’s my weeks reading travelling across continents  – how far are you travelling?