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

Anything For Her – G.J. Minett #BlogTour #BookReview

Psychological Thriller
5*s

Well once again G.J. Minett has demonstrated that he knows not only the ingredients required for great story-telling but also when to whisk the mixture slowly and when to turn the speed up, the result a story that may make you wonder if you should have caught on a little earlier but ultimately leave you feeling satiated.

So what’s it all about? Well Billy Orr is back home visiting his older sister, Mia who is ill. He stays on the train at Ashford International – as Billy says the name brings out the cynic in him.

‘It came across as just that little bit too desperate to impress, as if seeing to confer upon the place a status, a sense of glamour and mystery which was never entirely warranted by the town itself. Even the positioning of the word felt lie an afterthought, almost a pose if you like.’

Right from this point, in other words very early on, I liked Billy, saying to myself, he thinks the way I think.

Billy is home in Rye to keep Mia company while her husband Matthew travels for work and although they’ve both assured him that Mia will be ok, the bond between brother and sister is especially close given that Mia, nine years his senior, looked after Billy following the sudden deaths of their parents when he was still in his teens.

The story elegantly shifts backwards and forwards in time, from the present day to an event in 2002, thirteen years before the heart of the story. In the present Mia and Billy go to the supermarket in Tenterden and he’s browsing the cereal aisle when who should he see but his first love Aimi. Now it is clear almost immediately that Mia was not impressed by this chance meeting but she’s content to let them have a five-minute chat, her about her marriage to the son of the local ‘Mr Big’ but she knows that her leaving Billy as a teenager had broken his heart and their closeness has translated into a slightly overbearing attitude as to Billy’s well-being. Aimi wants to talk to Billy but wants him to keep it a secret and sadly the poor bloke doesn’t realise that he should walk away without a backwards glance.

I’m not actually going to say anything else about the plot except to say that the seemingly disparate pieces of information are anything but. I think the author must have had a massive wall of sticky notes to keep track of all the information! Not that this book is complex to read, far from it, but neither is it packed full of irrelevant details, the extra words only ever coming in to paint an evocative scene, a sense of place or time.

Then the clouds came scudding across like locust swarms, treacle black, thick as molasses chasing the light from the sky and squatting over the West End like some malevolent entity. Nature’s literal five o’clock shadow.

The people are well-drawn the ‘at home’ scenes between Mia, Matthew and Billy only too believable, far more so I think than those books where families sit around having witty chats with one another – here there are several points where it is all too obvious that manners keep the family together but their true selves are at times somewhere entirely elsewhere. There are people to hate, people to wonder at, people who remind you of yourself or others and at some point you are going to realise some of these people are hiding something, what is the question?

I am very grateful to the publishers who provided me with a copy of Anything For Her, and of course to be invited to be part of this blog tour. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and to Graham for providing me with another brilliant read. If you haven’t read this author’s previous work, I would urge you to do so each one so different yet at the same time the complex plots are effortlessly read leaving a sense of deep satisfaction.

      Graham Minett

 

 

 

 

 

First Published UK: 30 November 2017
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
No of Pages: 368
Genre: Psychological Thriller 
Amazon UK
Amazon US – currently unavailable

Books by G.J. Minett

The Hidden Legacy
Lie In Wait

Don’t forget to catch the other stops on the blog tour!

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 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

I am currently reading Anything For Her by G.J. Minett an author who has had me mightily impressed with his first two novels and this one looks to be heading in the same direction.

Blurb

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do. Amazon

Now I’m supposed to tell you the book I last finished, let’s just say that being a bit behind with my reading, this is strictly aspirational, although I have read quite a few of the ‘stories’ in this wonderful non-fiction book. True Stories by Helen Garner, author of This House of Grief, is a collection to be savoured, currently available on kindle in the UK the hardback will be published on 25 January 2017.

Blurb

Helen Garner visits the morgue, and goes cruising on a Russian ship. She sees women giving birth, and gets the sack for teaching her students about sex. She attends a school dance and a gun show. She writes about dreaming, about turning fifty, and the storm caused by The First Stone. Her story on the murder of the two-year-old Daniel Valerio wins her a Walkley Award.

Garner looks at the world with a shrewd and sympathetic eye. Her non-fiction is always passionate and compelling. True Stories is an extraordinary book, spanning fifty years of work, by one of Australia’s great writers. Amazon

Next up I plan to read The Missing Girl the debut novel by Jenny Quintana which will be published on 18 December 2017.

Blurb

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

With that question comes the revelation that her biggest fear isn’t discovering the worst; it’s never knowing the answer. But is it too late for Anna to uncover the truth about Gabriella’s disappearance? Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (October 18)

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

I am currently reading Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, the winner of The Richard and Judy search for a bestseller competition.



Blurb

WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW

In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.

WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW

In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT
Connection?

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?

The last book I finished was The Ice Child by Camilla Läckberg, the ninth in the Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck series. This episode sees Erica up to her eyes in children but she still has time to involve herself in the investigation into a local missing girl.

Blurb

 

SEE NO EVIL
It’s January in the peaceful seaside resort of Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t manage to stop.

HEAR NO EVIL
The victim, a girl who went missing four months ago, has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment – and Detective Patrik Hedström suspects this is just the start.

SPEAK NO EVIL
The police soon discover that three other girls are missing from nearby towns, but there are no fresh leads. And when Patrik’s wife stumbles across a link to an old murder case, the detective is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light.

Next up is a book that I’ve been anticipating ever since I finished the author’s last book, Lie in Wait. G.J. Minett has finished his third book, Anything for Her which will be published on 30 November 2017 in eBook format with the paperback following in March 2018.

Blurb

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (October 15)

It’s some time since I have done a wrap up post which was mainly due to an unscheduled break from blogging caused by too much paid work to leave any time to devote to the blog and I have a rule to prioritise reading over blogging.

I have been short-sighted since I started at secondary school and after several months of not being able to see the board admitted this fact to my parents and was duly issued with a horrible pair of NHS glasses.

These came in a choice of clear, pink, blue or brown – mine were clear!

I hated them and spent the whole of my school career only wearing them when absolutely necessary, leading to at least two pairs ending up under the wheels of the school bus as they flew out of my pocket as I raced for it. Anyway time moved on and eventually I had a more stylish pair and then I moved to contact lenses so I only need to wear my glasses on very rare occasions. But, horror has struck, I went to the optician for my routine eye-test to be informed that I now need to wear reading glasses, the news was accompanied with the phrase ‘well you’re fast approaching that magic milestone!’ The young optician then noticing my lack of appreciation for this helpful comment said, ‘Well it’s not so bad you only have to wear them while working on a screen or reading’ and didn’t believe me when I pointed, out that this was my whole life!!

Of course when they arrive it might mean that my eyes are not so tired after a day at work and I will be able to read more! Here’s hoping.

This Week on the Blog

It’s been a busy week on the blog which sprang back into business with my review  of The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler which not only sparked happy memories of authors read many moons ago but also introduced plenty of other interesting writers all with a tongue-in-cheek writing style.

Next I reviewed Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves, a book from my TBR which had been unread since its purchase back in 2012. As it was number 4 in the Vera series I’ve comforted myself that I have another four books to read whenever I want something that is guaranteed to delight.

My excerpt post was for the winner of the Search for a Bestseller run by Richard and Judy; Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear.

This Week in Books featured the authors Frances Brody, Sinéad Crowley and William Boyd.

This was neatly followed by my review of the ninth book in the Kate Shackleton series, Death in the Stars by Frances Brody featuring the solar eclipse of 1927 and a story which revolved by a group of variety hall entertainers.

On Friday I posted my review of The Last Thread by Ray Britain, a debut crime fiction thriller written by a former Police Officer which far exceeded my expectations.

The week was rounded up with my review of The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère, a non-fiction true crime novel that chilled me.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet which was on Man Booker Prize shortlist 2016. Those of you who visit regularly, or even occasionally know that I enjoy historical crime fiction and when I belatedly heard about this book featuring young Roddy Macrae who hailed from the remote crofting community of Culduie in Rossshire I knew I had to read it.  The tale is based on the facts that on an August day in 1869, beat the local constable Lachlan Mackenzie and two other people to death. A brilliant book which I would really like to re-read now I know how it ends…

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



Blurb

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

From the TBR perspective one advantage of having been so busy (and not being able to see) is that I haven’t had too much time to request new books, but surprisingly a few have made it into my house anyway!

I was delighted to be offered a copy of Anything for Her by GJ Minett as I was a huge fan of his first two books; The Hidden Legacy and Lie in Wait so I’m eager to see what the author has in store for me this time.

Blurb

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do. NetGalley

I have also received a copy of The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin which sounds irresistible and is due to be published in February 2018.



Blurb

‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’

‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.
But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . . Amazon

I also have received a copy of Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce which appealed as a humorous change from all the crime and wickedness, it’s not due to be published until April 2018 but I am very tempted to pick it up now anyway.

Blurb

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird is a love letter to female friendship, Blitz spirit, the kindness of strangers and the art of letter-writing itself. Amazon

What have you found to read this week? Any of these take your fancy?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 7 books, and DNF 1.
My TBR now has a total of 175
Physical Books – 95
Kindle Books – 59
NetGalley Books – 21

Posted in Books I have read

Anything For Her – Jack Jordan

Psychological Thriller 3*s
Psychological Thriller
3*s

We meet Louise Leighton when she is in the depths of despair. She knows that her husband Michael is having an affair with her sister and they are about to lose everything and then her eighteen year old daughter Brooke goes missing! Did she leave of her own accord or has someone taken her against her will? The main part of the story is told in the present tense and concentrates on the search for Brooke although we do get some glimpses of life before everything went wrong.

Louise’s dilemma is a really tough one. If the police are going to find Brooke then the secret that the pair have been keeping for the last year will have to be revealed. Michael, is in the dark about whatever happened one night that changed his wife to a shell of herself and simultaneously has caused his once outgoing daughter into a withdrawn introverted young woman. This now dysfunctional family has only one member who appears normal and that is Brooke’s brother Dominic who is protective of both his mother and sister.

There is plenty of tension in this book especially as Louise is sure that she is being watched, she keeps getting strange, and by strange, I mean really strange, gifts left for her to find. Someone is coming into her house and she isn’t able to ask for help because, yes you’ve guessed it, the secret will be revealed.

So with such a set-up the secret needs to be a good one and I’m pleased to report that when it was finally revealed I could understand Louise’s insistence to keep it to themselves, although my guess was fairly close to what happened. Unusually for me the fact that I didn’t really warm to any of the main characters was slightly problematic, although I was marginally more sympathetic to Brooke’s plight than Louise’s. My feelings about the characters meant that I wasn’t entirely convinced by some of their actions at times. For example we are told why Michael had the affair, but this seemed overly simplistic, and besides if he had been the man Louise claimed he was then ether surely there were other options! To be fair some of the other suspect behaviour was explained by the parts of the story that were told from before that fateful night and this is a tale where it will work as long as you go with the flow – unfortunately I had to many breaks in between my reading which perhaps gave me too much time to question rather than simply enjoy.

I wouldn’t recommend this book for those of a sensitive nature, there were times when the crudeness of the language seemed just a bit too much, which had the effect of breaking the tension, but this may be down to my personal taste. None of this can take away the sense of terror particularly as the ending nears, by this time I was on the edge of my seat!

This was an enjoyable read with plenty of action so perfect for reading in as short a space of time as possible and at the moment it is available on kindle for the bargain price of 99p.

I am very grateful to the author for giving me a copy of this book for review purposes. Anything for Her was published on 21 June 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (July 18)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Not many additions but as some of them go back a couple of weeks I thought I’d update you all on those I have acquired.

First up from good old NetGalley is No One Needs to Know by Kevin O’Brien

No One Needs to Know

Blurb

A SECRET WORTH KILLING FOR…
In July 1970, actress Elaina Styles was slain in her rented Seattle mansion along with her husband and their son’s nanny. When the baby’s remains were found buried in a shallow grave close to a hippie commune, police moved in—only to find all its members already dead in a grisly mass suicide.
AGAIN…
Now, decades later, a film about the murders is shooting at the mansion. On-set caterer Laurie Trotter ignores gossip that the production is cursed. But then people start dying…
AND AGAIN…
As Laurie digs deep into what happened all those years ago, the truth emerges more twisted than any whispered rumor, as a legacy of brutal vengeance reaches its terrifying climax… NetGalley

No One Needs to Know is due to be published by Kensington Books on 7 August 2015

I am also delighted to have a copy of The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan, an author whose previous books featuring Paula McGuire have been a big hit with me. The latest in the series will be published by Headline on 19 November 2015.

The Silent Dead

Blurb

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.
Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.
ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.
The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they? NetGalley

I also have a copy courtesy of the author,Jack Jordan of Anything For Her . I rarely accept books for review via the author but Jack sent me a lovely, and personalised email which showed that he’d visited this blog and noted the types of books I like to read – his seems to fit the bill!

Anything for Her

Blurb

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.
Louise Leighton’s life has fallen apart, all because of one fateful night. Her husband is an adulterer, her sister is his mistress, and soon, Louise will lose everything she owns. But she never imagined she would lose her daughter.
Eighteen-year-old Brooke Leighton is missing. It’s up to Louise and the Metropolitan Police to find her. Has Brooke run away? Or has she been taken against her will? And can Louise aid the investigation without mentioning the night where all of her troubles began?
If she mentions that night, she will incriminate her daughter for heinous crimes. But if she doesn’t, she may never find Brooke; and if she has been abducted, the person who took her may come for Louise, too.
Sometimes the past comes back to kill you. Amazon

Lastly I have a copy of The Closet of Savage Mementos by Nuala Ní Chonchúir which comes highly recommended by a number of blogger friends following my recent post on Women’s Lives
The Closet of Savage Memories

Blurb

Lillis takes a summer job working at a lodge in a small lochside village in the Scottish Highlands. Leaving home is a way to escape her sorrow and despair following the death of her boyfriend and a testy relationship with her mother, Verity.
In Scotland she encounters love and excitement but when a series of unexpected events turn her new found life on its head, she is forced to make a life-changing decision, one that will stay with her for her whole life.
The Closet of Savage Mementos is drawn directly from the author’s own experiences and explores heartbreak, loss, motherhood and adoption in a gripping narrative and the same expressive, emotive and exciting prose we have come to expect of Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Goodreads

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below