Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (July 30)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Mothers of the Disappeared by Russel D. McLean

Mothers of the Disappeared

Blurb

Dundee-based private investigator J. McNee finds his past is about to catch up with him in this intriguing mystery
Suspended from the Association of British Investigators and facing an enquiry into his alleged misconduct over four years previously, J McNee’s career hangs in the balance. The last thing he needs is new business. But when the mother of a murdered child asks him to re-open a case he helped close during his time in the police, McNee can’t refuse. Is the wrong man serving a life sentence for a series of brutal murders? And, if so, why did he admit his guilt before the court? As McNee searches for answers, he finds himself forced to make a terrifying moral choice: one that will change his life forever. Amazon

I have just finished reading After I Left You by Alison Mercer

click on the cover to read my review awarding this book the full five stars!

After I left You

Next I am going to read a debut novel, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica This sounds like another stalker tale, I’ll be interested to see how it compares with The Book of You

The Good Girl

Blurb

I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when they’re scared. But I will.
Mia Dennett can’t resist a one-night stand with the enigmatic stranger she meets in a bar.
But going home with him might turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life… Amazon

Please share your reads with me in the comments below.

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

After I Left You – Alison Mercer

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

Anna left Oxford University in the early nineties, cutting off all ties with her fellow students but why? Alison Mercer does a fantastic job right from the first page in drawing us into Anna’s world both now and in the past.

When we first meet Anna she is thrilled to be leaving home, she has outgrown her mother, her step-father Gareth and step-sister Tippy (nick-named because as a little child she kept tipping things over) and is eager to start a new life reading English at the famous university.

Moving in she soon meets up with some of the friends that she will be closest to through her years in Oxford but the underlying question is always, why did it all fall apart? The story is told alternating between the events in the present spliced with those that happened during her years as a student.

Alison Mercer has created a wide variety of characters from the beautiful confident Clarissa to the withdrawn Keith, from the earnest Meg to the brash bold Barnaby and of course Victor, someone we know was important in Anna’s life because bumping into him launches this very clever tale of betrayal. The author also manages to keep Anna’s character consistent through both timelines, although it is clear that whatever happened has changed her outlook, the core values are still there.

The setting was beautiful, I could easily imagine the fictional St Bart’s, the rooms, the courtyards and the pictures taken to commemorate an evening of intense conversation, which leads neatly onto a second point; the nineties were accurately portrayed including the emerging technologies such as email although the phone box was still the preferred method of keeping in touch with loved ones.

I enjoyed this book even more than I expected to and the characters walked out of the pages and into my life. With the snippets from the past giving hints to not only the main betrayal but also from some other secrets that had hindered Anna through her life since leaving Oxford, I began to join the dots and gratifyingly I was spot on in one aspect but wide of the mark in others. A brilliantly executed finale wrapped up this accomplished novel.
This is Alison Mercer’s second novel, her first Stop The Clock is now on my TBR, and reading her biography it is easy to see why the Oxford she describes is so believable, she attended Oxford and read English.

If you want a well-written novel, with secrets, lies along with realistic characters, you might well enjoy this book.

I received my copy ahead of the paperback publication of 31 July 2014 from the publishers Random House, in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (July 29)

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to

My Teaser this week is from After I Left You by Alison Mercer

After I left You

Blurb

Anna hasn’t been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the sting of betrayal, the heartache, the secret she carries around with her, the last night she spent with them all.
Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present, and Anna is faced with the memories of that summer and the people she left behind. As Anna realises that the events of their past have shaped the people they’ve all become, hope begins to blossom for what her future could hold. Amazon

My Teaser

‘He was a despicable, self-serving, ruthless, idle little shit with a lot of very nasty friends, and you’re infinitely better off without him, believe me,’ Gareth went on. He straightened up and folded his arms,’ go on then, ask me. Say it “I want to know who my father is.”

Please share your Teaser Tuesday post with me in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (July 23)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Arsonist by Sue Miller

The Arsonist

Blurb

Fleeing the end of an affair, and troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley comes home to the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the ground. Is it an accident?
Over the weeks that follow, as Frankie comes to recognise her father’s slow failing and her mother’s desperation, and she tentatively gets to know the new owner of the local newspaper, another house burns, and then another. These frightening events open the deep social fault lines in the town and raise questions about how and where one ought to live, and what it really means to lead a fulfilling life. Amazon

I have just finished reading one of my favourite books of the year Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
click on the cover to read my review
Little Lies

Next I am going to read After I Left You by Alison Mercer

After I left You

Blurb

Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the fierce sting of betrayal, the heartache, the secret she carries around with her, the last night she spent with them all.
Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present, and Anna is faced with remembering the events of that summer and the people she left behind. As Anna realises that the events of their past have shaped the people they’ve all become, hope begins to blossom for what the future could hold . . .NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (January 10)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Yesterday I came home to find that the postman had delivered one of last weeks Friday Finds; Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers and in the same package was The Corpse Garden by the recently deceased crime writer Colin Wilson an illustration of my diverse reading tastes as well as two books that simply can’t be put on the bookshelf side by side!

The Corpse Garden

Colin Wilson is one of the top modern non-fiction crime writers. In The Corpse Garden, he unravels the s tory behind the facts in order to get to the heart of the West murders Amazon

So what was going through my mind when I chose this book? Well having read (and suffered some trauma in doing so) Rose West: A Making of a Monster by Jane Carter Woodrow I realised that there was one book about this couple that I haven’t read!

My second choice from Amazon Vine is The Book of You by Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Blurb

Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there. Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand. Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined. But how do you protect yourself from an enemy no one else can see? Amazon

I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a year with lots of psychological thrillers which is fine by me!

From NetGalley I have managed to bag a copy of After I Left You by Alison Mercer which will be published 31 July 2014 by Random House UK

After I met you

Blurb

Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the fierce sting of betrayal, the heartache, the secret she carries around with her, the last night she spent with them all.
Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present, and Anna is faced with remembering the events of that summer and the people she left behind. As Anna realises that the events of their past have shaped the people they’ve all become, hope begins to blossom for what the future could hold . . .Netgalley

This seems like it may be less dark than many of my other choices.

I have also found out about some books to be released later this year which I have to read!

I’m looking forward to S.J. Bolton’s latest Lacey Flint book, A Dark and Twisted Tide due to be published in May 2014

A Dark and Twisted Tide

Blurb

Young policewoman Lacey Flint knows that the Thames is a dangerous place – after all, she lives on it and works on it – but she’s always been lucky. Until one day, when she finds a body floating in the water. Who was this woman and why was she wrapped so carefully in white burial cloths before being hidden in the fast-flowing depths?
DCI Dana Tulloch hates to admit it, but she’s fond of the mysterious Lacey. Even if she keeps on interfering in her investigations, and is meddling with the latest floater case. But now she’s got to break some terrible news to her – news that could destroy Lacey’s fragile state of mind.
And Lacey will need to keep her wits about her because there’s a killer that’s lurking around her boat, leaving her gifts she’d rather not receive . . .

I love these books so I was pleased to see there isn’t too long to wait until this one comes out!

Learn more about this series by reading my review of Like This Forever (Lacey Flint #3)

The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer is due to be published in March 2014.

The Facts of Life and Death

Blurb

‘Call your mother.’
‘What do I say?’
‘Say goodbye.’
This is how it begins.
Lone women terrorised and their helpless families forced to watch – in a sick game where only one player knows the rules. And when those rules change, the new game is Murder.
Living with her parents in the dank beach community of Limeburn, ten-year-old Ruby Trick has her own fears. Bullies on the school bus, the forest crowding her house into the sea, and the threat of divorce.
Helping her Daddy to catch the killer might be the key to keeping him close.
As long as the killer doesn’t catch her first…Goodreads

Read my review of  Belinda Bauer’s previous book Rubbernecker