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

Richard and Judy Spring Books 2014

RandJ

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

click on the picture above to view the original announcement!

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

click on the book covers for my review

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

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

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

and the other two were very close contenders

A Commonplace Killing by Sian Busby

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

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

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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

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

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

Longbourn by Jo Baker

longbourn jobaker

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

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

sisterland curtissittenfeld

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

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

theneverlist koethizan

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

What are your thoughts on these choices for spring 2014?

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

A Commonplace Killing – Sian Busby

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

I was thrilled to be offered Sian Busby’s last book before she sadly died in September 2012. I first came across this author when I read The Cruel Mother which was a thought-provoking piece of writing.

Before you read this a word of warning; the foreword written by Sian Busby’s husband, Robert Peston, is incredibly touching and had me in tears.

A Commonplace Killing is a deceptively hard-hitting book. No scenes of gruesome violence are written on the page it is worse than that; Sian Busby writes eloquently about the time when the old rules were swiped aside leaving a grubby stain on the country.

Set in Holloway, North London Lillian Forbisher narrates half the story detailing the lead up to the murder. The other half is narrated by the voice of the loveable Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper. With the war over 1946 had become a time where the murder of a tart in a bad area was now a commonplace matter but still one where Jim Cooper wanted the right results, after all this was a time when if convicted the perpetrator would hang.

Sian Busby certainly worked hard to research the time not just how Holloway looked, but how the country acted, the unrelenting continuation of rationing and the necessary queuing, the lack of real jobs for the men returning all give the impression of a nation who have won the war but simply can’t believe that life will improve. Our protagonist Lillian is trying so hard to believe her life can get better while her poor husband Walter is struggling to adapt to life back home and DDI Jim Cooper is worried that love has passed him by.

I found this understated book a fascinating portrait of post-war Britain, the writing was engaging and the key(s) to the murder was skilfully revealed.

I received my copy of this book from the publisher in return for my unbiased review

Historical Crime 4*'s
Historical Crime
4*’s