Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

An Act of Silence – Colette McBeth

Psychological Thriller
4*s

Colette McBeth provides us with a nuanced and multi-layered tale in this story which could be plucked from the tabloids.

Linda Moscow is a former Home Secretary who resigned under a black cloud and of course had her disgrace splashed all over the red-tops. Imagine her horror when her son, Gabriel, a stand-up comedian, turns up in her kitchen informing her he is supposed to be presenting himself to the police in a few hours in connection with the death of a woman. Yes, Linda loves her son, can she trust in her son’s innocence? This strand of the novel is one that begs the reader to ask ‘What would I do?’ After all from what she is told Mariela who Gabriel shared the night with has been found dead on the allotment behind his house, for him it appears she was simply another notch on his crowded bedpost, tales of which have kept his face in the public eye ever since he became a famous comic. And then there is the secret that Linda has been nursing over the years.

I loved the way we learn more about each of the characters through their own narration and through other people’s eyes. When wisely used, this is one of my favourite ways for a story to unfold as I firmly believe it is how we learn about each other in ‘real’ life. The time jumps backwards and forwards as different details are revealed stretching way back into the past.

In the background there is the all too familiar story of sexual abuse by those in authority. Relieved of her ministerial duties Linda has joined with a journalist to investigate such abuse of young girls by those in positions of authority and is busy tracking the women down through social media to expose the truth.

Colette McBeth uses the various characters to examine relationships, most prominently in this case one between mother and son and what should be seemingly rock solid bonds can be stretched to the limits. How past experiences of guilt and betrayal colour apparently unrelated conflicts in the future and how interference from others can cast an insidious shadow on the way we view those that we are closest to.

Because of the nature of Linda’s quest to reveal the truth about historic sexual abuse, this is quite a sad book which made it a harder read than many in the psychological thriller genre however the plentiful twists and turns and action scenes meant that the book falls short of being a depressing tale about abuse. In fact by choosing two diametrically opposite characters, the child victim and the politician the author was able to make much wider statements about neither label coming close to summing up an entire person, each having far more layers and depth to them.

An Act of Silence lives up to its title, sometimes it is the unsaid that can cause far more strife than any words spoken aloud.

I’d like to thank Colette McBeth for giving me a copy of An Act of Silence when we met at a Headline blogger event earlier this year, this review is my unbiased thanks for a stunning, involved and intelligent novel that despite somewhat unlikeable characters really got under my skin.

First Published UK: 29 June 2017
Publisher: Wildfire
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Previous Books by Colette McBeth

Precious Thing
The Life I Left Behind

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 5)

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

A mixed bag from me this week as I try to keep up with the 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, review all those books I’ve requested from NetGalley and that have popped through my letterbox during my absence….

At the moment I am reading An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth, a gripping psychological thriller which was published on 29 June 2017.



Blurb

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning

Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?
She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her. Amazon

The last book I finished was The Island by Victoria Hislop set on the beautiful island of Crete and focussed on the leper colony Spinalonga.

Blurb

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.

Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone’s throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip… Amazon

Next up is Tammy Cohen’s latest book, They All Fall Down which will be published on 13 July 2017 and a book I’ve been hotly anticipating ever since I heard about its existence.

Blurb

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again? Amazon

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to?
What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (July 4)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea 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 first paragraph this week comes from An Act Of Silence by Colette McBeth which was published on 29 June 2017.

Blurb


These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning
Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?
She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.
Now, the past is catching up with them. As old secrets resurface, Lind is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it’s her life on the line… Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


Monday, 17 November 2014

Linda
Say yes.
One word, all he wants to hear.
Yes, I believe you. Yes, I will help you.
That look of his, brimful of need, stirs in me the biological instinct to protect, make safe, put things right.
I am hardwired to give him what he wants. That is love, I suppose.
But here’s a thought: what if I had resisted, left him to deal with his own mistakes, learn his lessons the hard way; would he be the same man, sitting here recounting this story?
The truth is I’ll never know.
We are where we are.

Well I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started but what do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 19)

Weekly Wrap Up

I didn’t post a wrap up last week as I had gone away on a little jaunt, firstly to London where I met up with Bibliobeth to attend a Book Blogger event organised by Headline books – I had a great evening, had long chats with publicist Georgina Moore (Chief Communications Officer) and authors: Julia Crouch, Alison Weir, Colette McBeth, Amanda Reynolds and Adele Parks as well as some other bloggers – this goes some way to explaining some of the recent additions to my TBR. I had a fantastic evening.

From there I made a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon where unfortunately the great Bard was fairly silent but myself and my oldest (in that we’ve been friends the longest) friend had a wonderful weekend catching up and having fun. I then made a trip to Malvern to visit relatives before making it back to Jersey via a Post Office so I could send my books home as they wouldn’t fit in my carry-on case!

This Week on the Blog

Well I’m going back to the week before because I simply have to feature my review of He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly which is my favourite read of the year so far. A story of a coupling interrupted in 1999 leads to a court case with a young man charged with rape. What really happened on the day of the solar eclipse that day will have long lasting consequences for all involved.

My extract post this week was from The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir the first in the Children’s House Series.

My This Week in Books post featured among other’s The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, another book to count towards my Mount TBR challenge.

On Thursday my first review of the week was for The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer which I enjoyed far more than I would have been expected since it contained strong supernatural elements.

On Friday I posted my review for Sewing the Shadows Together by Alison Baillie. This story of a past murder in Portobello, Edinburgh was then the subject of yesterday’s Put a Book on the Map feature written by Joanne of Portobello Book Blog and Alison Baillie. I’m really enjoying the posts that are the collaboration between the author and book bloggers which really add some context to the books being discussed.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. This sliding doors novel which has three different versions of a life, kicked off by a student falling off her bike in 1958 was exceptionally well written and one of my favourite novels of last year. Each version of Eva and Jim’s life is full of minor details as well as the bigger events which steer them down different paths which made for a satisfying and enjoyable read.

If you click on the cover you can read my full review

The Versions of Us

Blurb

What if you had said yes . . . ?
Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future – together, and apart – as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.
The Versions of Us is an outstanding debut novel about the choices we make and the different paths that our lives might follow. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

So back to the wonderful Headline Book Blogger event where I picked up a much wanted copy of An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth which is due out in June 2017,  which Colette kindly signed for me.

an-act-of-silence

Blurb

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him where they had sex. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning
Linda Moscow: loving mother to Gabriel. Linda promised herself years ago that she would never let her son down again. Even if it means going against everything she believes in – she will do anything to protect him. She owes him that much.
Gabriel Miller: the prodigal son. He only ever wanted his mother’s love, but growing up he always seemed to do the wrong thing. If his mother could only see the bad in him – how could he possibly be good?
How far will a mother go to save her son? Linda’s decision might save Gabriel, but it will have a catastrophic impact on the lives of others. What would you do if faced with the same impossible choice? Amazon

After having a wonderful chat with Amanda Reynolds I was delighted that she signed my copy of Close to Me which will be out in April 2017.

close-to-me
Blurb

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia – she’s lost a whole year of memories.
A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?
She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell.
But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought. Amazon

Bibliobeth bought me her spare copy of Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman
which is due out in May 2017

girls-on-fire

Blurb

This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think.
I’m going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth.
Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed and isolated at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki’s boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah befriends new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki.
Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live and think they are invulnerable.
But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything . . . Amazon

In the post I was delighted to receive Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton – one of my favourite authors which is being published on 20 April 2017.

dead-woman-walking

Blurb

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . . Amazon

From NetGalley I was delighted to be given a copy of Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey which is out next month – and it features Meave and Josh!!

 

let-the-dead-speak

Blurb

When an 18-year-old girl returns home to find her house covered in blood and her mother missing, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…
When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds Kate, her mother, missing and the house covered in blood. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. In the absence of a body, she and maverick detective Josh Derwent turn their attention to the neighbours.
The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter definitely has something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat or is there more behind the charismatic façade? As the accusations fly, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of conflicting testimonies, none of which quite add up. Who is lying, who is not? The answer could lead them to the truth about Kate Emery, and save the life of someone else. NetGalley

Surprisingly I have more books added to the TBR which will be revealed next week…

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 6 books and gained 10!! so the grand total is 192
Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 65
NetGalley Books – 12

Posted in 5 Of the Best

Five of the Best (March 2011 to 2015)

5 Star Reads

As I have now been reviewing for over five years I thought I’d highlight my favourite book for each month from 2011 until 2015 to remind myself of the good ones. When we are talking five years ago, they must be good if I still remember them! Here is January’s and February’s top five, but onto March!

2011

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock was one of my first reads through the Amazon Vine program, a book that I couldn’t resist as it is set in Guernsey – I do wonder why there are no similar books set in Jersey, it seems unfair that being smaller they get all the good books written about them including a recent favourite The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Schaffer & Annie Burrows

The Book of Lies

Blurb

Life on the tiny island of Guernsey has just become a whole lot harder for fifteen-year-old Cat Rozier. She’s gone from model pupil to murderer, but she swears it’s not her fault. Apparently it’s all the fault of history.
A new arrival at Cat’s high school in 1984, the beautiful and instantly popular Nicolette inexplicably takes Cat under her wing. The two become inseparable–going to parties together, checking out boys, and drinking whatever liquor they can shoplift. But a perceived betrayal sends them spinning apart, and Nic responds with cruel, over-the-top retribution.
Cat’s recently deceased father, Emile, dedicated his adult life to uncovering the truth about the Nazi occupation of Guernsey–from Churchill’s abandonment of the island to the stories of those who resisted–in hopes of repairing the reputation of his older brother, Charlie. Through Emile’s letters and Charlie’s words–recorded on tapes before his own death– a “confession” takes shape, revealing the secrets deeply woven into the fabric of the island . . . and into the Rozier family story. Goodreads

2012 yr

Another Vine offering in March 2012 introduced me to Camilla Läckberg, an author who is now one of my favourites with the sixth in the Patrick Hedstrom and Erika Falck series; The Drowning

The Drowning

Christian Thydell’s dream has come true: his debut novel, The Mermaid, is published to rave reviews. So why is he as distant and unhappy as ever?
When crime writer Erica Falck, who discovered Christian’s talents, learns he has been receiving anonymous threats, she investigates not just the messages but also the author’s mysterious past…
Meanwhile, one of Christian’s closest friends is missing. Erica’s husband, Detective Patrik Hedström, has his worst suspicions confirmed as the mind-games aimed at Christian and those around him become a disturbing reality.
But, with the victims themselves concealing evidence, the investigation is going nowhere. Is their silence driven by fear or guilt? And what is the secret they would rather die to protect than live to see revealed? Amazon

2013yr

In March 2013 I found an another now must-read author, Louise Phillips who wowed me with Red Ribbons

Click on the book cover to read my review
Red Ribbons

Blurb

A SERIAL KILLER
When the body of a missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin Mountains, her hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair, the hunt for her killer reaches epic proportion with the discovery of a second girl’s body 24 hours later.
THE CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Desperate to find the murderer, police call in criminal psychologist Kate Pearson, to get inside the mind of the serial killer before he strikes again. But the more Kate discovers about the killings, the more it all begins to feel terrifyingly familiar as her own past threatens to cloud her investigations.
AN ACCUSED WOMAN
Ellie Brady has been institutionalised for 15 years, for the killing of her twelve-year-old daughter, Amy. After all this time, does Ellie hold the key to finding the killer of the Dublin schoolgirls?
What would you do if you were accused of killing your own daughter? What if those closest to you turned their back on you? And when everyone stopped listening, what next, when even you believe you’re guilty?
THE BAD MAN IS EVERYWHERE Goodreads

2014yr

March 2014 was a bumper month for 5 star reads but I chose Precious Thing by Colette McBeth for the sheer addictiveness that caused me to try and cook and read which was an epic fail!

Click on the book cover to read my review

Precious Thing
Blurb

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?
Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.
They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it. Goodreads

2015yr

The best book for March this year has to go to a book I’ve been waiting an age for; Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall which deals with a difficult subject in an intelligent and sensitive way, definitely a book to make you think!

Click on the book cover to read my review

Humber Boy B
Blurb

A blur in the sky, a brick no, a trainer, red falls to the water… There seems to be a scuffle… a hand grabbing at the dangling child. Then, with the awfulness of inevitability, the hanging child drops, gravity takes him. A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B s reintegration into society. But the general public s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play? Amazon

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

The Life I Left Behind – Colette McBeth

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

The Life I Left Behind is told from three different viewpoints; Melody who was attacked so badly she was in a coma for a while, now six years on her attacker has been released from prison, Eve who is dead and DI Victoria Rutter who is on the trail of Eve’s killer.

Now I know that having a narration via a dead person isn’t new, think Lovely Bones, but I do think this device needs to be handled carefully especially for those of us who are sceptical about the paranormal. So question number one: How well-integrated into the story is Eve? Answer: Extremely well, her narrative is key and while the reader isn’t allowed to forget she is dead, she is one sassy ghost. Her character is not some whimsical, all-seeing apparition, she doesn’t appear to others and nor does she dwell on where she is, but her narrative critical to the reader piecing together who killed her.

What did I expect from my last few minutes? A montage of my best bits like they show on the X-Factor when the contestants are being booted out? …….In the end my regret boiled down to one last living thought ‘I didn’t have the chance to warn her.’ 

Melody has been beaten by her experience, now planning her wedding to fiancé Sam she doesn’t leave the house alone, ever, and her fear is twofold, one she is unable to remember what happened to her the night she was brutally attacked, secondly she doesn’t feel she can trust her own judgement as the attacker was her friend.

Detective Inspector Rutter is a mother, but one who has the support of her husband to bring up her two children while she concentrates her efforts on catching the man who killed Eve. A strong and tenacious woman she is also capable of admitting mistakes making her a truly likeable character. It is nice to have a fictional police officer who isn’t overcoming some trauma or a complete maverick for a change!

So onto question two: Did I enjoy this book as much as Precious Thing? If you read my review you’ll know I literally couldn’t put this debut down, not even to cook! Answer: Yes, although this time I planned my reading time carefully so there was no need for cooking. The elements I enjoyed in Precious Thing are here too; truly likeable and authentic characters partnered with an enjoyable writing style. I love observational moments to lighten the moment when reading scary stuff and Colette McBeth has the balance just right. Along with this there is a proper puzzle for the readers to contemplate. Now I admit I’m not all that good at working out whodunit but I do read a lot of psychological fiction, I know how it works and I thought I had this one all sewn-up quite early on. Question three: Did I spot the killer? Answer: No, as usual I was wrong and despite suspecting nearly everyone towards the end, even I can’t delude myself that I was even close.

I am delighted to have been given a copy of this book by the publisher, Headline, allowing me to read and comment prior to the publication of this book on 1 January 2015! This is going to be another book that I push on all my friends, book-lovers or not, so in answer to that final question: Do I recommend this book? Answer: If you love crime fiction, but don’t want anything gruesome, you want a book with a great mix of characters and enjoy a book firmly rooted in the present then yes, this is a great book to gorge yourself on.

My review of Precious Thing, if you haven’t read this one, don’t miss out.  I’ve recommended this to many people aged from 20 to 70 and they all enjoyed it.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (November 26)

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 Sweet Damage by Rebecca James

Sweet Damage

Blurb

‘In my dreams the house itself has sinister intentions.
In reality, the people who lived there did the damage…’
Tim Ellison is lucky to find a cheap room in the city’s best location. There’s a hitch, though – he must run errands for the reclusive owner, beautiful Anna London.
Anna is secretive, but it’s obvious something is haunting her…
When terrifying things start happening in the house, Tim is forced to think about leaving. But he’s fallen for Anna, and when her past comes back with a vengeance Tim is caught right in the middle. Amazon

I have recently finished The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth a book that comes I highly recommend by your truly. Find out why when I post my review.

The Life I Left Behind

Next I am going to read The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph

Blurb

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton whose only traces remain in a few tantalisingly blurred photographs. Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?
As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph – and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth’s . . . Amazon

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (November 25)

 

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
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 their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind

Blurb

Five years ago Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead.
She coped by burying the person she was, locking away her memories and creating a new life for herself. Her attacker is behind bars. In four weeks’ time she will get married. She’s almost normal.
Then the body of another woman is found, close to where Melody was discovered. Like her she has blond hair and green eyes. Like Melody police find a gold bird cage necklace at the scene. And Melody realises her attacker has been out there all along.
The woman’s name is Eve Elliot. Melody sets out to discover everything she can about Eve to work out why they were targeted. But the more she gets to know her the more she realises what’s wrong with her own life. Eve may be dead but she’s the only person who can teach Melody how to live again. Amazon

My Teaser
‘How can I help you?’ the receptionist said.
‘I can’t seem to find my daughter,’ she said. Immediately she regretted her choice of words, which seemed more appropriate to describe the temporary misplacing of an object such as her keys or her purse. She needed to elaborate quickly so she began the story about Zakynthos and the airport and the no-show and the mouldy plates in my flat. The receptionist raised her hand to stop the flow.
‘I can take the details from you now.’

Do you want to read more?
Please share your teasers in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (September 19)

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

From NetGalley I am now the proud owner of The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph

Blurb

In the summer of 1933, Alice Eveleigh has arrived at Fiercombe Manor in disgrace. The beautiful house becomes her sanctuary, a place to hide her shame from society in the care of the housekeeper, Mrs Jelphs. But the manor also becomes a place of suspicion, one of secrecy.
Something isn’t right.
Someone is watching.
There are secrets that the manor house seems determined to keep. Tragedy haunts the empty rooms and foreboding hangs heavy in the stifling heat. Traces of the previous occupant, Elizabeth Stanton, are everywhere and soon Alice discovers Elizabeth’s life eerily mirrors the path she herself is on.
The past is set to repeat its sorrows, with devastating consequences. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Stolen Child by Laura Elliot

Stolen Child

Blurb

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare.
Carla Kelly wakes to find her two-day-old baby daughter’s cot empty.
Isobel has been taken.
Susanne Dowling has been keeping a terrible secret following her fifth agonising miscarriage. But when at last she welcomes her new baby daughter into her life nothing else matters. They will both be safe as long as Susanne keeps her daughter close and confesses her lie to no one. Ever.
Carla, a top model, launches a fierce national campaign to find her child – but the trail is cold. She receives threats and recriminations from strangers – she flaunted her pregnancy in the media, she cashed in on it, she deserves everything she gets – and, encouraged by well-meaning loved ones to move on, she begins to fall apart.
But one letter Carla receives stands out from the rest. It offers support from a surprising quarter. And it sets in to motion a chain of events that opens wounds and exposes shocking secrets from Carla’s past that suggest what happened to her daughter was revenge a long time planned.
And it will bring Carla unknowingly close to the stolen daughter she has sworn she will do anything to get back … NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of Deutschland by Martin Wagner, II have to admit I’ve seen more attractive covers than this one!

Deutchland

Blurb

Spending their summer holidays at their grandparents’ house by the sea, Sam and her two brothers play a series of dangerous games, pitted against each other yet united in their secrecy from the grown-ups. But when they discover a fierce dog mysteriously trapped in an electrical substation, they face their first real challenge, one from which they cannot walk away.
Meanwhile, on a long weekend in Germany, their aunt, Kate, and her new lover find themselves playing games of their own. In the red-light district of Munich, will Kate’s surprising challenge for her boyfriend strengthen or destroy their relationship?
Many years ago, Sam’s grandfather, Richard, also played an unusual game, encouraged by a stranger, as part of a scientific experiment. The choices he made then have haunted him ever since. As Sam delves into her grandfather’s secret she discovers that where free will turns to blind obedience, true horror lies. Amazon

And lastly I am delighted to be the proud owner of The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth whose book Precious Thing wowed me earlier this year.

The Life I Left Behind

Blurb

She’s dead but she’s the only one who knows what really happened;
What your friends have said.
What the police missed.
Who attacked you.
So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?
You think you know people: Colette McBeth tells you what you don’t know… Amazon

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

Precious Thing – Colette McBeth

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller
5*’s

How can friends that have shared so many important moments recapture that closeness after circumstances have separated them? This is the root of the question that Rachel asks herself when her best friend returns home after an absence of seven years. Clara’s return to Brighton came after Rachel was already a successful crime reporter for television. Living in London with the man of her dreams she is perturbed that the previous closeness they’d shared was hard to recapture but she still classed Clara as her best friend so when she is sent to report on her sudden disappearance Rachel doesn’t know what to think.

Set between the present in 2007 and the past in the early 1990’s, the book is written in a form of a (long) letter to the lost Clara. I like the way the time shifts were done, sometimes they can seem contrived but as this was a letter the memories that Rachel chose to mention seemed relevant. I have to admit I don’t normally like the second person in books, but again my fascination overcame my usual irritation.

I found the book a compelling read, watching how time has shifted the balance of power in the relationship, Rachel is no longer a shy schoolgirl and it is unclear for most of the book what changes Clara has undergone. I like figuring people out and there was plenty of opportunity to look for motivations and reasons within the claustrophobic friendship that the two girls had.

Colette McBeth has written a very clever book, one that I could hardly bear to put down and I found myself snatching a few pages at every available opportunity, something I haven’t done for some time! The short punchy sentences kept me reading while I tried desperately to work out what had happened to Carla, and why. I was only partially successful.

The cast of characters is quite small, wonderfully observed and seemingly realistic, and although I didn’t particularly like either of the two friends, they were definitely interesting. The scene where Rachel met Sarah, an old school-friend, for the first time since leaving school was so accurate, mimicking the way some women talk, disseminate and manipulate, that I could imagine I was at the Cantina Latina club with them.

So if you hadn’t guessed already, I loved this book. Precious Thing was a fairly quick read, not too taxing, but plenty to think about, and just what I expect from a good psychological thriller.

I received my copy of this book from Amazon Vine in return for this honest review.

Update – If you live in the UK and like my review there is a giveaway on Goodreads open until 21 April 2014