Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Sewing the Shadows Together – Alison Baillie

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

I like my crime fiction to feature past crimes which are bought into the present, that feeling of past and present becoming so tightly linked is really appealing and so the premise to Sewing the Shadows Together called to me from the moment I read the synopsis.

Shona McIver was raped and murdered over thirty years ago, she was just thirteen years old Her brother Tom and her family moved to South Africa following the shocking crime in in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh. Her best friend Sarah remained in Portobello but what happened left a long shadow over both of their lives.

In the present day it is announced that the once young man, committed to hospital after being convicted of her murder, is to be released. Worse still it has been proved that he wasn’t the murderer. Tom is in Portobello at the time the police re-open their investigation having travelled over on family business and to attend a school reunion. What better background can you conjure up than a reunion organised by just the sort of woman who always organise such events, pushy and shallow with a conviction that everyone must have fun! The question is, is the real killer someone Tom and Sarah know; will the murderer be unmasked?

The emotions are so perfectly drawn in this novel. There is a bit of everything on the entire spectrum and because I was so drawn into the tale, I really felt the highs along with the lows. With a fast-moving plot with a surprising number of potential suspects who could have been part of the secret that Shona mentioned on the evening she disappeared. The result for the reader is many theories built and swiftly dashed to smithereens as another smidgen of information is revealed; just the kind of plotting I most enjoy. Although there was one moment when the coincidence seemed a little too convenient, on the whole I was convinced by the plot, in other words the clues were there.

And then there is the setting, which, because I chose to read Sewing the Shadows Together because Joanne from Portobello Book Blog and Alison Baillie have kindly provided a piece for the next Put A Book on the Map post which will be up tomorrow, is nothing but evocative. I have never been to Edinburgh and yet the seaside suburb of Portobello lends itself perfectly to the scene of the murder.  Don’t you think a murder committed in beautiful surroundings, seems so much more horrific? It is also presented as a fairly close-knit community back in the 1970s with enough key items from the time as markers but not so many that it feels like a trip into nostalgia. Not that all the action takes place in this setting, we journey to the Outer Hebrides to visit some of Tom’s scary relations and back to South Africa when he returns to visit his beloved aunt for one last time. There is no doubt in my mind that Alison Baillie is not only able to weave a convincing story but is able to make you feel as if you’ve visited the places themselves. Amazing as I have no first-hand knowledge of any of these settings.

There are a wide range of characters in the book, and as there are quite a few the author has managed to keep them distinct and interesting, although in some cases far from likeable and at times I couldn’t help wonder why this beautiful seaside setting hadn’t seen more murders over the years!

First Published UK: 23 July 2015
Publisher: Matador
No of Pages:  377
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Doll Funeral – Kate Hamer

Contemporary Fiction 4*s
Contemporary Fiction
4*s

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I requested The Doll Funeral because not only is it set in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, where I grew up, but it also features a thirteen year old girl, named Ruby, in 1983, the year I turned thirteen too – in short the parallels were too similar to not see what The Doll Funeral had to offer.

Ruby finds out she is adopted on the day of her thirteenth birthday up until this time she had no idea. All she learns is that she was a few months old before she was taken in by Barbara and Mick. Living on the very edge of the dense forest, Mick is cruel and bitter following the loss of his daughter at the tender age of three and Barbara is ineffectual against his rages. Ruby is a fairly solitary child, she takes to roaming the forest often accompanied by ‘Shadow’ a young boy who she has seen for as long as she can remember, a boy who never ages. Whether he is real or whether he is a figment of Ruby’s imagination is for you to decide.

Ruby decides to invoke the spirits in the forest to help her find her parents. Part of this is to light fires and chant incantations and of course there is a funeral for a doll. Finding her real parents who will take her away is the only way she can see to escape the ire that she provokes in Mick, especially now her beloved Grandmother has died, she has no refuge at all.

One day she makes friends with an older boy, Tom, and in time visits his home, a house where his parents had decided to live off the land, but they are not there, just his siblings an older sister and a younger brother. Food is often rabbit and vegetables from the land, the money their parents sent regularly at first no longer appearing.

We know who Ruby’s mother is through Anna’s story, set in 1970 and split between life in London and that in the forest. This element of the story was fascinating and spurred me on when the weirdness of Ruby’s story got a little bit too much.

The writing is so evocative, and although I didn’t need too many prompts to picture the house backing onto the deep and dark forest, I think the author did a fantastic job of conjuring up the oppressiveness and remoteness of this area. It also recreated a time not in reality so far in the past, where children were left to their own devices, we certainly were, which went more than some way in explaining why Ruby was able to roam deep into the forest away from any living eyes.

I have made no secret of the fact that I’m not a big fan of ghosts in my reading, or anywhere else for that matter, but there was something incredibly appealing, not least the superb writing, which has made me make an exception to that rule for The Doll Funeral. I’m not going to lie, the things Ruby ‘sees’ form a large part of the book, but, taking into consideration the atmosphere of the forest as described by Kate Hamer, it worked for me. The story revealed is very sad in parts, and the parents of all the children are just too awful for words. Perhaps that’s why Ruby and her first person, present tense narrative stole a small piece of my heart.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faber & Faber who answered my pleas for a copy of this book ahead of publication in hardback, today, 16 February 2017.

First Published UK: 16 February 2017
Publisher: Faber & Faber
No of Pages:  368
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 15)

www.This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy 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 Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths the ninth in the Dr Ruth Galloway Mystery series which will be published on 23 February 2017.

the-chalk-pit

Blurb

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart – before it claims another victim. Amazon

I have recently finished The Trophy Child by Paula Daly

the-trophy-child

Blurb

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?

Next up for my Mount TBR Challenge 2017 I am going to read The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

the-other-typist

Blurb

New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.
But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.
But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out? Amazon

What are your reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 14)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea 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.

Happy Valentines Day everyone I’m sending you all lots of book love!

My opening paragraph for this week comes from The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir which will be published in the UK on 23 March 2017.

the-legacy

Blurb

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?
The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.
Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.
It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Chapter 1

Thursday

It takes Elisa a moment or two to work out where she is. She’s lying on her side, the duvet tangled between her legs, the pillow creased under her cheek. It’s dark in the room but through the gap in the curtains a star winks at her from the vastness of space. On the other side of the bed the duvet is smooth and flat, the pillow undented. The silence is alien too; for all the times it has kept her lying irritably awake she misses the sound of snoring. And she misses the warmth that radiates from her permanently superheated husband, which requires her to sleep with one leg sticking out of the covers.
Out of habit she’s adopted that position now, and she’s cold.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is my first Yrsa Sigurdardottir book and having heard high praise of her books, I think I’m going to enjoy this one.

What do you think?

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

He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

Erin Kelly has once again proved that she is an extremely talented writer, one who weaves a tale full of twists and turns, yet without resorting to cheap tricks. This is a book that stands proud in a now crowded genre, one that relies on superb plotting and brilliantly nuanced characters, the result being I was convinced by both.

In 1999 Laura and Kit were at Lizard’s Point in Cornwall to watch the total eclipse of the sun. For Laura this was her first experience but Kit and his twin brother Mac had, along with their father Lachlan, travelled far and wide as part of a group of eclipse chasers to see this rare phenomenon. In Cornwall Mac, his girlfriend Ling and Kit had decided to make some money to cover the trip by selling hot drinks at the festival but with the British weather being, well, British, the event isn’t as well attended as expected. Laura turns up having travelled down later and watches the eclipse with suitable awe and then stumbles across a young woman, her own age, being raped. Or that is what she believes.

With the story moving backwards and forwards from 11 August 1999 to fifteen years later when Kit is planning to travel to the Faroe Islands, chasing another eclipse, we learn what an impact that meeting had on all four characters and the ripples haven’t decreased with the passing years.

He Said/She Said
looks at the issue of rape from a number of perspectives with the court room reflecting the crux of the matter, as the title indicates. Jamie, the accused says that Laura got it wrong, he was having consensual sex with Beth when he was interrupted by the couple. Beth maintains it was non-consensual but she froze in the moment. Kit didn’t see anything, he was lagging behind but followed Jamie when he left the scene at Laura’s behest. There are other elements familiar from news reports of some recent big trials not least the fact that Jamie’s family are wealthy, he has a top lawyer and his family, including his fiancée, are in the courtroom supporting him. Who will the jury believe?

So we have a very modern tale told in the main by Laura and Kit which should have concluded the day the trial was over but Beth needing support from those who were there turns up at their London flat and is welcomed, at least by Laura. Kit is less sure, worried that if there is an appeal, that the girls have undermined any chance of a retrial by potentially being accused of colluding with each other. Three’s a crowd begins to be a very apt saying as tensions increase.

This is an involved and thoughtful tale, one that really did make me think but I’m delighted to report that Erin Kelly never forgets that she is writing to entertain her reader and she avoids bashing the reader over the head about rape, and the trials that all too rarely follow such an accusation. I believe it is a sign of a writer who has confidence, not only in herself, but of her readers to air the important issues this way.

I’m not going to say any more about the plot, which is excellent not only in the premise but also in its execution. The pace had me travelling through the chapters, headed up by images of the sun at various points of an eclipse, as I became more immersed in a story and characters that I truly believed in.

Trust me, you really don’t want to miss out on this book!

First Published UK: 20 April 2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
No of Pages:  416
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Previous Books by Erin Kelly

The Poison Tree – 2010
The Sick Rose – 2011
The Burning Air -2013
The Ties that Bind – 2014
Broadchurch: The Novel – 2014

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Mount TBR 2017

The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Short Story 4*s
Short Story
4*s

This may be a short story but it is a disquieting one to say the least. Based upon the author’s experience in the late 1800’s when diagnosed by a physician of a nervous disease she was prescribed ‘rest cure’ which meant that she was to stay in bed all day and only allowed mental stimulation for two hours a day… this led to a near total mental decline.

The story features a young woman who has a baby, although he or she, is kept well ‘off-page’ as the subject who has moved into an old house with a creepy feel to it as she lies in a room with yellow peeling wallpaper.

The journal entries written by the woman in the bed, written in secret to hide them from her physician husband, who has diagnosed her with a nervous disease and banned her from leaving the house or having any mental stimulation.
Alone in the room the woman sees first patterns and then more disturbing things in the yellow on the wall which mirror the stretching and then the breaking of her mind although the ending is cleverly left open to interpretation.

The author wrote the story to warn others against rest cures but it has come to be viewed as one of the earliest examples of feminist writing and I can’t disagree. Somehow you can’t imagine a healthy man struggling with a new role in life being told to go to his room until he felt better!!

This is one of those stories that make me truly grateful that I was born when I was!

mount-tbr-2017

 

First Published: 1892
No of Pages: 27
Genre: Short Story
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 8)

www.This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy 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 The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, another for my Mount TBR Challenge, and also a series that I am reading in completely the wrong order! I read the fourth in the Katie Pirie series last year, Out of Bounds, and this is the third!

The Skeleton Road

Blurb

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a dark world of intrigue and betrayal.

Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge — but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined . . . Amazon

Now I’ve been reading quite slowly this year, but as I’m off for a little bit of rest and relaxation for few days, I’m going to make up for it by posting two books that I hope to read while I’m away… The complex hand-luggage rules for the different airlines that will ferry me to and from the mainland mean that kindle reads are a must (although I have to find some space for a paperback just in case of electronic failure) if I want some clothes to wear. I then need to factor in the fact that most of my reading will happen whilst sitting at airports, on planes and trains means that reads that are engaging enough to drown out the other passengers, but still allow me to juggle the constant putting a book aside to queue, to watch various boards and to make sure I don’t miss my stop!

As you can imagine I’ve spent far too long pondering which books to choose but I’ve finally come up with a couple.

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon looks like a fun read and perfect for journeys.

my-sweet-revenge

Blurb

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.
Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it? Amazon

And if I have a chance Sewing The Shadows Together by Alison Baillie, the next book to star on Put A Book on the Map feature.

sewing-the-shadows-together

Blurb

Can you ever get over the death of your sister? Or of your best friend?

More than 30 years after 13-year-old Shona McIver was raped and murdered in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh, the crime still casts a shadow over the lives of her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah.

“Shona had been gone for so long but the memories still came unexpectedly, sometimes like a video from the past, sometimes distorted dreams, but she was always there.”

When modern DNA evidence shows that the wrong man was convicted of the crime, the case is reopened. So who did kill Shona? Sarah and Tom are caught up in the search for Shona’s murderer, and suspicions fall on family and friends. The foundations of Sarah’s perfect family life begin to crumble as she realises that nothing is as it appears. Dark secrets from the past are uncovered, and there is another death, before the identity of the real killer is finally revealed…

Set in Edinburgh, the Outer Hebrides and South Africa, Sewing the Shadows Together is a thoroughly modern murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing to the end. Filled with characters who could easily be friends, family or people we work with, it asks the question:

Do we ever really know the people closest to us? Amazon

What are your reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 7)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea 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.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph from The Trophy Child by Paula Daly, a favourite author of mine and in this book she’s sharing something that I find disquieting – the helicopter parent.

the-trophy-child

Blurb

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Part 1
1

Monday, September 21

The girls’ changing room smelled heavily of sweat, mud and a sickly-sweet deodorant that was beginning to irritate the back of her throat. She didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for hockey. Not a lot of enthusiasm for school, full stop, now that she was on a probationary period. It was to be a period of indeterminate length, during which her behaviour would be monitored by a variety of well-meaning professionals.

Verity Bloom: not quite a lost cause.
Not yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wonder what was behind the author’s choice to feature the ‘second’ child in this opening rather than Bronte – well whatever the reason, I’m strongly suspecting this will be a great read as long as Karen’s behaviour doesn’t annoy me too much!

What do you think? Have you read The Trophy Child? Do you want to?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Rush of Blood – Mark Billingham

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

So you’re on holiday in Florida, you’ve met up with another two couple’s from the UK, spent time together all fairly standard stuff and then on the last day, a girl goes missing from the resort. You’re interviewed by the police and allowed to return to the UK. Would you make a date to meet up with your fellow holidaymakers away from the sun?

Well that’s exactly what the couples in our story did. It has to be said some were keener than the others to get together but they grouped together round Angie and Barry’s table they begin to get to know each other on home ground so to speak. Inevitably the conversation becomes dominated by what could have happened to Amber-Marie and how she had disappeared so suddenly. Of course it goes without saying that one uncomfortable dinner party isn’t enough for these intrepid travellers, as Ed and Sue host one as do Marina and Dave. For the reader who doesn’t have to endure the actual company, these are brilliant parties with each character showing their hand a little bit more.
Over in Florida Amber-Marie’s mother Patti Lee Wilson is naturally distraught and the manager of the resort where she has camped out is fearing she is bad for business, or he’s simply run out of what little compassion he has.

Jeff Gardner is working the case in the US and left to voice the increasingly trite sounding reassurances that the case is getting the department’s full attention. And then there is a murder in the UK and a bright trainee PC, Jenny Quinlan decides to contact Jeff and so the investigation progresses both sides of the Atlantic.

In between the dinner parties themselves not only does the investigation gather pace but we hear what the characters are doing, what worries them and, for some, what have they found on the internet that they can mull over and dissect at the next meeting. We also hear the killer’s voice but I have to admit, it wasn’t who I thought it would be.

I can safely say that none of the characters have bucket loads of redeeming features but they are all recognisable, you probably work with at least one of them! There characteristics range from mousey through to an arrogant assumption that their opinion is what everyone is waiting for, from the geeky nerd to the wannabe actress and from the neurotic to the grumpiest man on the planet – why the couples are with each other is intriguing enough let alone why they would voluntarily chose to spend time with the other couples!

In a nutshell that is the beauty of Rush of Blood this standalone novel has a different feel to the Tom Thorne books, although fans will be pleased to hear he does have a cameo role. While there is a mystery to solve it is more firmly in a whodunit than a why which makes it possible for the author to experiment with the amusing character studies which contrasts behaviour between the couples themselves and how they behave in a group situation… and the author doesn’t neglect the detectives either but I’ll let you make your own minds up about them!

I found Rush of Blood an absolutely fascinating read whilst vowing to myself to make sure I look as unfriendly as possible on any future holidays I may take!!

I’d like to thank Grove Atlantic for allowing me to read Rush of Blood. This honest review is my thanks to them.

First Published UK: 2012
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
No of Pages:  400
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 5)

Weekly Wrap Up

There really is no greater thrill for a book blogger than learning that your review has been quoted inside in a book you have loved. This week I hit the jackpot because I’m quoted inside the front cover of Lie In Wait by G.J. Minett alongside some of my favourite bloggers!! As you can see Lie In Wait is now out in paperback and comes highly recommended by yours truly!

lie-in-wait-inside-cover

I also have to ask, is anyone watching Unforgotten on ITV? Do you have a scenario which will work for the final on Thursday? All the ones I can come up with have massive flaws and I lay awake last night re-examining the evidence and still zilch!

This Week on the Blog

So I managed to post three reviews this week starting with After She Fell by Mary-Jane Riley in a tale of an apparent suicide in North Norfolk. This is the second in the Alex Devlin series and my review awarded it a well-deserved five stars.

On Tuesday my excerpt post was from The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths whose series featuring the forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is one of my favourites.

This Week in Books detailed my reading plans, which I admit have been somewhat derailed, but I have now finished the magnificent He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly which I will be reviewing soon.

On Thursday I posted my review of Hannah Kent’s second book The Good People which transported me to a village steeped in superstition in early nineteenth century Ireland – the story told is all the more powerful as it is based on a true event.

My last review of this week was for The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards which is the second in his Lake District Mystery series. This was a good puzzle, set in a beautiful location with historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett investigating a cold case where a man murdered with his own scythe!

And yesterday Put A Book On The Map had its launch in East Anglia with Mary-Jane Riley talking about the settings for The Bad Things and After She Fell alongside Katherine Sunderland of Bibliomaniac. The piece looked amazing especially as they both generously contributed beautiful photos. Susan from The Book Trail drew up Book Trails for each book too.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Ex by Alafair Burke . This courtroom drama had me hooked with my sympathies for the characters swaying with each revelation. This author is a master of pace, and plotting. I really must keep my promise to myself and read some of her other works.
You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

The Ex

Blurb

DID HE, OR DIDN’T HE?
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defence lawyers. When she gets a phone call informing her that her former fiancé has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

Just one book this week courtesy of the lovely Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist who kindly posted What Remains Behind by Dorothy Fowler because I was struggling to find a copy. Margot’s blog really is the place to go to discover all things crime fiction and she featured this book in one of her ‘In The Spotlight’ posts. Do go and check out her blog although be warned, it has many, many tempting books featured.

what-remains-behind

Blurb

Everything leaves a trace. Chloe, a contract archaeologist, is excavating the site of a religious Kaipara Harbour community, which burnt to the ground in the 1880s. As the site is uncovered, what unpalatable truths will be revealed about the events on the night of the fire?

Chloe’s own family has farmed this land, and she is caught in the conflict as local resistance to the excavation mounts. When Chloe digs up more than shards of pottery, she realises that the site holds secrets that will not stay buried, and their effect on the present is devastating.

Moving between a diary written in the 1880s and the current day, this compelling novel has murder, mystery, love, lust – and archaeology. Goodreads

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read just 2 books but I only gained 1 new one, and I found a book lurking on the TBR which I’d read – so the grand total for the first weekend in February is a mere 188
Physical Books – 110
Kindle Books – 67
NetGalley Books – 11