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

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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

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

 

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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.

 

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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

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (January 8)

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 we have a new year and that means a whole heap of brand new books to read, what could be better? OK well if they were accompanied by a sun-drenched holiday complete with cocktails but… a fire & a blanket in a cold January will have to suffice!

My choice of opening this week comes from To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh, author of Hidden, The Missing HoursThe Killer on the Wall and Falling, all excellent psychological thrillers that truly thrill. To Catch a Killer will be published by Orion on 24 January 2019.

 

Blurb

I’ve been watching you DS Alice Parr.
I saw you trying to save the poor young woman you found in the park.
The woman I tried to kill.
I’ve been waiting for you to find her family. To find someone who cares about her.
But you can’t can you?
You’ve never had a case like this.
I know everything about you. You know nothing about me.
Even though I’m the man you’re looking for.
And you will never catch me… Amazon

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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Prologue

 

When I think about that day, when I think about her, it is her hands that I remember most. Long, patrician fingers, the nails shaped into a smooth arc, filed with a care that even to this day, baffles me. The muted pink of them so perfectly applied, the blood that had worked its way into the creases of her fingers, ghoulish and macabre besides the effortless glamour. I remember the way her fingers clutched mine, those perfect nails raking at my palm as if I represented the final rung on a falling ladder, and that by holding on to me she could hold on to a rapidly disappearing life. Perhaps that was true. Perhaps that was precisely what I was to her.

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Yes it looks very much like I’ve started 2019’s opening post with a full on psycho killer – I mean really, not knowing from experience but I doubt the quality of someone’s manicure is what preoccupies most murderers…  Can’t wait to see what other treats this book has in store!

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (December 4)

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.

Today I have chosen a new to me author to feature in this meme. The synopsis to Elisabeth Carpenter’s new novel Only a Mother was intriguing as it targets an area of crime I found fascinating; how is it that some relatives, lovers or friends, maintain that a convicted person is innocent when faced with majority opinion and conviction that suggests the opposite is true?


Blurb

ONLY A MOTHER . . .
Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.

COULD LIE FOR HIM
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD BURY THE TRUTH
NetGalley

Only a Mother will be published on 27 December 2018.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1 Erica

I step outside and close my front door. Out of habit, I examine it quickly from top to bottom. My shoulders relax. The green paint is covered in tiny cracks, but there’s no writing sprayed on it today, no excrement wiped across or pushed into the keyhole. The door’s been free of graffiti for nearly eighteen months, but it won’t stay that way for long.

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Well there is quite a bucketful of resignation in that short paragraph isn’t there? I’m looking forward to seeing how this psychological thriller unfolds – we don’t often see mother’s in this context in crime fiction with a few notable exceptions. I can’t wait to see what this has in store.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in The Classic Club

The Classic Club Spin #19 – The Result!

The Classics Club has decided to spin its wheel for the 19th time, the 3rd for Cleopatra Loves books and so I hesitantly checked out the result. Not because I have any books on the list I created that I’m really dreading but I have included some heftier books and it must be read, and reviewed by 31 January 2019.

The result came through and it is number 1 which for me means that I am to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

I’m going to do a little Q&A about the book so first things first and most importantly:

How many pages long is Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Well I’ve done well since this was supposed to be a chunkster… Breakfast at Tiffany’s is only 160 pages long and technically a novella – whoops! 

Why did you choose to add this book to your The Classics Club list of 50 books?

Last year I finally got around to reading what is supposed to be the book that led the way in true crime writing; In Cold Blood and so I was already motivated to read something else by this author and let’s face it, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is iconic! 

Do you own a copy of the book?

Ah, that seems to be a no! I will do very soon though! 

What other books by this author have you read?

Just the one In Cold Blood which I suspect is an entirely different kind of read.

What is Breakfast at Tiffany’s  about?

Holly Golightly. Oh you want more? Well it’s about Holly Golightly who is a young woman who spends her days/nights being entertained by the wealthier inhabitants of  Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  She is hoping one of these men will marry her.

We hear her story through an unknown narrator who through the course of the book she reveals what is underneath her outspoken views that she’s not afraid to share and we learn more about  the girl, and her lifestyle.

When was Breakfast at Tiffany’s  first published?

It was first published in 1958 making it one of my newer classic reads for The Classics Club but before In True Blood which wasn’t published until 1966.

Tell me a bit about Truman Capote?

Truman Capote was an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter playwright, and actor. He was born in 1924, had divorced parents and apparently decided he was a writer at the tender age of 8. He is also probably the only one of my Classic Club authors who elongated his fame by appearing on television shows.

Truman Capote by Jack Mitchell

What did you get fellow Classic Club Spinners?

Looking forward to everyone’s views on whether I should be celebrating my success or perhaps this book missed the mark where you’re concerned?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 20)

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.

My opener this week is from A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths which is due to be published on 6 December 2018. I requested a copy of this book purely on the basis of the location as I lived in the Forest of Dean from the ages of nine to seventeen.


Blurb


In a dark, dark wood

In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.

There was a dark, dark house

Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PART ONE

Present Day

She knows she’s in trouble the moment she steps into the street. Corralled by looming buildings and confused by the dazzle from fiercely lit shops and headlamps, the danger that is only a heartbeat away has her braced for attack. With her bag secured across her front like a shield, she slips her hand inside to clasp the knife. Her bag, with its sharp edges and thick leather strap, works as a weapon too. She’s grateful for it. And with everyone and everything a threat to her safety, she needs all the help she can get. Overtaking an androgynous couple in dark winter clothes, she spins her head to the amplified rush of tyres on wet tarmac and skids on the rain-polished pavement. Taking a moment to steady herself, she watches a dying bird at her feet – its frantic flapping is distressing, until she realises it’s nothing more than a collection of dead leaves.

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Well there is a lot of adrenaline in that opening paragraph and I for one want to know why.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 13)

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.

As regular readers to Cleopatra Loves Books are aware I have been making a huge effort in 2018 to clear some of those books that have been forgotten about on the TBR – and so as the year draws to a close I am having one final push to read some of the older entries – Today I’m sharing a book that I bought back in 2014 and The Lie of You by Jane Lythall has sat forgotten on my kindle pretty much ever since!



Blurb

One woman’s fear is a another woman’s weapon…

”When I look back on my relationship with Kathy I marvel at how naive she was, how little she knew.
But then, she always thought she had everything: the job; the baby; the friends; and him. She thought she was safe. She thought that nothing could touch her perfect world.
She should never have trusted me.”

A woman sets out to destroy a female colleague in this chilling psychological thriller. Amazon

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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Heja

April

Kathy thinks she has everything: the job; the baby; the friends and him. But she does not have my will. It is all surface with her. She has no hidden places. She does not know about her dark side, or about others’. She always believes the best of people

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Now that doesn’t give too much away does it? But, combined with the synopsis I’m hoping that this will make me love my job, and colleagues, even more than I already do 😉

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 6)

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.

My opener this week has been chosen from what for me has been a long awaited book; The Wych Elm by Tana French.

Blurb


‘For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.’

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself. Amazon

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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

I’ve always considered myself to be, basically a lucky person. I don’t mean I’m one of those people who pick multi-million-euro lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors. I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about. I wasn’t abused as a kid, or bullied in school; my parents didn’t split up or die or have any addiction problems or even get into any but the most trivial arguments; none of my girlfriends ever cheated on me, at least as far as I know, or dumped me in traumatic ways; I never got hit by a car or caught anything worse than chicken pox or even had to wear braces. Not that I spent much time thinking about this, but when it occurred to me, it was with a satisfying sense that everything was going exactly as it should.

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Well I was already looking forward to this one but opening the cover and remembering just how quickly Tana French can grab my attention, even when scene-setting, merely underlined the point for me.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (October 30)

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.

This week my first chapter comes from a book I hope to read very soon; The Lies We Told by Camilla Way a book I purchased after previously enjoying another of the author’s novels, Watching Edie.

Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the
lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

Cambridgeshire, 1986

At first I mistook the severed head for something else. It wasn’t until I was very close that I realised it was Lucy. To begin with I thought the splash of yellow against the white of my pillow was a discarded sock, a balled-up handkerchief perhaps. It was only when I drew nearer and saw the delicate crest of feathers, the tiny, silent beak, that I fully understood. And suddenly I understood so much more: everything in that moment became absolutely clear.

Well what do you think? Would you keep reading?