Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Cold, Cold Heart – Christine Poulson

Crime Fiction
4*s

It wasn’t until I finished Cold, Cold Heart that I realised that this is the second book in the Katie Flanagan series, and despite my repeated reminders to myself not to start another series, I’m going to have to read the first, Deep Water.

How lovely it is to have a female protagonist who is a research scientist; this fact alone made me want to read this novel although I have to stress that you don’t need to brush up on your science lessons to enjoy the book with her role providing a backdrop rather than interrupting what is essentially a locked room mystery on an Antarctic station where Katie is researching the effect of darkness on the human sleep cycle, body and mind.

We meet Katie before she sets off to the remote station when Lyle Linstrom recommends her for the role when one of the original researchers has to be evacuated before the ‘over-wintering’ sets in. There are ten people in all on the base, all men apart from Sara the medical doctor who Katie will assist in the hopefully unlikely situation that there is a medical emergency. After all for the eight month duration no-one can get onto the base, nor can anyone leave.

Meanwhile in the UK Daniel Marchmont, a patent attorney, is in charge of due diligence for Lyle Linstrom into an important piece of research that as a venture capitalist he is eager to invest in.

With worrying developments in both the UK and the Antarctic, the reader is kept thoroughly entertained, mind busy trying to work out how the two seemingly separate storylines will come together as we travel backwards and forwards from the brilliant descriptions of the cold and dark, remote world on the research base to the more familiar territory of day and night in the UK. With side storylines of Daniel’s young daughter’s rare illness and the dilemma’s he and his wife Rachel face, to the adventures of Marmaduke the cat, alongside witnessing the unveiling of many of the characteristics of the scientists on the base I was well and truly hooked.

Christine Poulson has developed some fantastically realistic characters, both major and minor, and impeccably in keeping with their chosen professions. There is the sympathetic doctor, Sara, the chef Ernesto, who is keen and occasionally sensitive about the food he provides for those confined on the base. Craig is the strong silent type, the youngest Adam who despite the vigorous health assessment before being given the go-ahead is slightly wobbly due to the almost unimaginable eight-months confined to base in this remote, cold and dark spot in the world. Graeme the base commander is the strong avuncular type, a wise man who listens to those around him with Alex, the mechanic and Justin and Nick who are the astronomers make up the rest of the party. With the long hours being punctuated with competitive games there also seems to be a joker in the pack but of course some things simply aren’t funny!

Cold, Cold Heart certainly played into my love of crime fiction which takes a different approach and this intelligent offering kept me hooked whilst thankful that it wasn’t me out there in the cold.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the author Christine Poulson for arranging a me to be provided with a copy of Cold, Cold Heart after I mentioned her contribution to The CWA Short Story Anthology: Mystery Tour.

 

First Published UK: 17 November  2017
Publisher: Lion Fiction
No of Pages: 272
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 13)

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

My current read is Cold, Cold Heart by Christine Poulson which was published on 17 November 2017 and features to my delight a Patent Attorney.



Blurb

Midwinter in Antarctica. Six months of darkness are about to begin. Scientist Katie Flanagan has an undeserved reputation as a trouble-maker and her career has foundered. When an accident creates an opening on a remote Antarctic research base she seizes it, flying in on the last plane before the subzero temperatures make it impossible to leave. Meanwhile patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont has been asked to undertake due diligence on a breakthrough cancer cure. But the key scientist is strangely elusive and Daniel uncovers a dark secret that leads to Antarctica. Out on the ice a storm is gathering. As the crew lock down the station they discover a body and realise that they are trapped with a killer… Amazon

The last book I finished was His Kidnapper’s Shoes, a psychological thriller by Maggie James that had been lingering on my TBR for quite a while.

Blurb


Daniel is my son. He has always been mine. And he always will be.

On some level deep inside, Laura Bateman knows something is wrong. That her relationship with her son is not what it should be. That it is based on lies.

But bad things have happened to Laura. Things that change a person. Forever.

For twenty-six-year-old Daniel, the discovery that his mother is not who he thought comes close to destroying him. As his world turns upside down, he searches for sanity in the madness that has become his life. Daniel is left with nothing but questions. Why did Laura do something so terrible? Can he move past the demons of his childhood?

And the biggest question of all: can he ever forgive Laura? Amazon

Next I plan to read Room by Emma Donoghue which I purchased all the way back in August 2012 and still haven’t read. This one is for my most certainly failed Mount TBR Challenge 2017.

 

Blurb

Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra.

Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures ten feet by ten feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (December 3)

Well here we are in December again already!

The lovely Susan the unique book blogger at The Booktrail sent me a message to let me know that I am quoted in The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane by Jane Housham, one of the non-fiction Victorian True Crime books that I read last year. I haven’t managed to look inside the book itself, but here is my quote on the Amazon Product page

I don’t talk about my work that much, mainly because Intellectual Property Law is of limited interest to many people and I work in the Legal Department of a company that renews Patents, Designs and Trademarks worldwide. This week I completed 15 years service, although I hasten to add that I’ve had a number of different roles in that time. To mark this achievement I was presented with some beautiful flowers and a code that allows me to buy some vouchers – I’m contemplating whether it is wrong to go for Amazon vouchers bearing in mind the size of my TBR?

This Week on the Blog

My first of the three reviews this week was for the brilliant The CWA Short Story Anthology: Mystery Tour which was jam-packed with a whole range of crime stories by some fabulous authors.

My excerpt post came from His Kidnappers Shoes by Maggie James having recently finished her novella, Blackwater Lake which was my second review of the week and prompted me to read more by this talented author. Thankfully I had one of her books on the TBR.

This Week in Books post featured the authors Natalie Meg Evans, Helen Barrell and Mel McGrath.

My final review of the week was for Ruth Ware’s latest novel The Lying Game which had an atmospheric setting along with one of my favourite relationships to feature in psychological novels, that of female friendship.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal a touching story set in 1981 with a child narrator Leon who believes he is the only one that can truly care for his baby brother Jake. His mother is somewhat distracted by trying to win over Jake’s father and it is almost inevitable that both boys end up being taken into care. This story moved me far more than I expected, probably because I fear the tale is only reflecting a reality for many boys within the social care system even today.

Please click here or on the book cover to read my review

Blurb

It’s 1981, a year of riots and royal weddings. The Dukes of Hazzard is on TV. Curly Wurlys are in the shops. And trying to find a place in it all is nine-year-old Leon. He and his little brother Jake have gone to live with Maureen. They’ve lost one home, but have they found another?

Maureen feeds and looks after them. She has wild red hair and mutters swearwords under her breath when she thinks they can’t hear. She claims everything will be okay. But will they ever see their mother again? Who are the couple who secretly visit Jake? Between the street violence and the street parties, Leon must find a way to reunite his family… Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

First up following my review of The CWA Short Story Anthology: Mystery Tour I was contacted by one of the authors I called out, Christine Poulson. Now as regular readers know I have iron-clad willpower when being offered books but there were two reasons to gratefully accept her latest book Cold, Cold Heart. One I really did enjoy her short story Accounting for Murder and secondly the story features a Patent Lawyer, I have quite a bit of contact with this breed of lawyers including my direct boss, so it seemed fitting in this, my long-service award week.

Blurb

Midwinter in Antarctica. Six months of darkness are about to begin. Scientist Katie Flanagan has an undeserved reputation as a trouble-maker and her career has foundered. When an accident creates an opening on a remote Antarctic research base she seizes it, flying in on the last plane before the subzero temperatures make it impossible to leave. Meanwhile patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont has been asked to undertake due diligence on a breakthrough cancer cure. But the key scientist is strangely elusive and Daniel uncovers a dark secret that leads to Antarctica. Out on the ice a storm is gathering. As the crew lock down the station they discover a body and realise that they are trapped with a killer. Amazon

Now I promise not to acquire books in December, this plan always goes so well that for some reason I feel the need to stock up in readiness. I have therefore got a few new books…

One of my new purchases is The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, I was looking out for a copy of this book at the recent book sale but there wasn’t a copy  so I bought one!

Blurb

England,1976.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined… Amazon

From NetGalley I have a copy of Hell Bay from Kate Rhodes. This is a the beginning of a new series from this author which will be published on 25 January 2018.

Blurb

DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.

Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time. NetGalley

Finally for this week’s post I have a copy of The Last Day by Clare Dyer which will be published on 15 February 2018.

Blurb

They say three’s a crowd but when Boyd moves back into the family home with his now amicably estranged wife, Vita, accompanied by his impossibly beautiful twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey, it seems the perfect solution: Boyd can get his finances back on track while he deals with his difficult, ailing mother; Honey can keep herself safe from her secret, troubled past; and Vita can carry on painting portraits of the pets she dislikes and telling herself she no longer minds her marriage is over.

But the house in Albert Terrace is small and full of memories, and living together is unsettling.

For Vita, Boyd and Honey love proves to be a surprising, dangerous thing and, one year on, their lives are changed forever. Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 6 books and appear to have gained just a few more than that, my TBR now has stands at a total of 184
Physical Books – 110
Kindle Books – 57
NetGalley Books –17