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

Her – Harriet Lane

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

This intriguing and well-constructed thriller starts when Nina recognises Emma on a street near her London home more than twenty years since she last saw her. As the reader you can’t help but wonder why Nina is so obsessed with Emma especially as Emma doesn’t appear to recognise her at all when they first meet. What connects these two women and why Nina wants to insert herself into her life is the crux of the whole book.

We have Nina and her poised life as an artist, mother of the teenage Sophie and partner to the almost detached Charles provides a stark contrast with Emma the mother of two-year old Christopher mired in domesticity wondering where her ‘true’ self has gone since marriage and motherhood. Emma is clearly overwhelmed, pregnant and frazzled when Nina inserts herself into her life and with precision finds the weak spots in Emma’s life and exploits them with precise cruelty. The casual way she hurts Emma while pretending to be her friend is in many ways more shocking than any open hostility could ever be.

Harriet Lane cleverly tells the story from both women’s viewpoints by overlapping the narrative thereby dragging the story back to a specific point before moving it forward from the differing perspectives as Nina and Emma narrate alternate chapters.

The writing is understated, and all the more chilling because of it but the prose still manages to conjure up scenes in London and France without ever seeming mired in detail. This style of writing is what made me fall in love with Harriet Lane’s debut novel Alys Always which was published in December 2012 and like those in Alys Always , the characters are set firmly within the middle-classes. Like her debut it is the off-hand way that the details are imparted makes me feel like I was watching Emma almost as avidly as Nina, but unlike Nina, I dreaded the finale.

This is a relatively short book with 235 pages of intrigue, frankly bizarre behaviour and undisclosed secrets from the past, well until the end which says just enough to allow the reader time to reflect.

I received a copy of this book which is due to be published on 6 June 2014 from Amazon Vine in return for my honest opinion. My opinion, is this one is worth getting hold of!

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (April 30)

WWW Wednesday green

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

I am currently reading A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton, the fourth in the Lacey Flint series.

A Dark and Twisted Tide NG

Blurb

Former detective Lacey Flint quit the force for a safer, quieter life. Or that’s what she thought.
Now living alone on her houseboat, she is trying to get over the man she loves, undercover detective Mark Joesbury. But Mark is missing in action and impossible to forget. And danger won’t leave Lacey alone.
When she finds a body floating in the river near her home, wrapped in burial cloths, she can’t resist asking questions. Who is this woman, and why was she hidden in the fast-flowing depths? And who has been delivering unwanted gifts to Lacey?
Someone is watching Lacey Flint closely.
Someone who knows exactly what makes her tick . . .

I have just finished the quietly menacing Her by Harriet Lane (review to follow shortly)

Her
Blurb

Would you be friends with her?
Two different women; two different worlds. Nina is sophisticated, moneyed and damaged. Emma is a struggling young mother who has put her life on hold. After Nina meets Emma by chance, she begins to draw Emma into her privileged world.
But this isn’t the first time the women have crossed paths. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did. But what did Emma do? How far will Nina go to punish her? And when will Emma realise that her new friend is a disturbing face from the past? Goodreads

Next I am going to read The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot Wright

The Secrets We Left Behind

Blurb

She has built a good life: a husband who adores her, a daughter she is fiercely proud of, a home with warmth and love at its heart. But things were not always so good, and the truth is that she has done things she can never admit.
Then one evening a phone call comes out of the blue. It is a voice from long ago, from a past that she has tried so hard to hide. Scott knows who she really is and what she has done. Now he is dying and he gives her an ultimatum: either she tells the truth, or he will.
And so we are taken back to that long hot summer of 1976 to a house by the sea, where her story begins and where the truth will be revealed… NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (April 29)

Teasing Tuesday CB

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

their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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

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

My Teaser this week is from Her by Harriet Lane

Her

Blurb

Two women; two different worlds.
Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold.
Nina is sophisticated and independent – entirely in control.
When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did.
But what exactly does Nina want from her?
And how far will she go in pursuit of it? Amazon

 

This book is told in alternate chapters by both Emma and Nina …

My Teaser
Emma
In the end, it comes down to luck. I must have dropped my wallet as I came out of the greengrocers’, and she finds it on the pavement.

Nina
In the end, it’s so ridiculously easy. I’m coming back from a run when I see her going into the greengrocers’, manoeuvring the enormous unwieldy buggy between the straw-filled trays of plums and avocados, the sunny upturned faces of the gerberas.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (February 14)

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!

Well I have been really good this week and stayed away from NetGalley although I do have another book to review for lovereading

The Girl From Station X by Elisa Segrave

The Girl from Station X

Blurb

As Anne Segrave approached old age and infirmity, her daughter Elisa was faced with the daunting task of sorting through her mother’s belongings. She was aware of several elements of Anne’s past, but she was astonished to find evidence of an altogether different life when she uncovered a cache of wartime diaries. Now, on the pages before her, Segrave encountered a young woman who put the world of finishing schools and hunt balls behind her to embark on a journey that took her to Bletchley Park, Bomber Command and, eventually, a newly liberated Germany. Goodreads

I did treat myself to one book, Death At The Priory by James Ruddick This tale of love, sex and murder just begged to be purchased!Death at the Priory

Blurb

In 1875 the beautiful widow Florence Ricardo married the handsome and successful young attorney Charles Bravo, hoping to escape the scandals of her past. But Bravo proved to be a brutal and conniving man, and the marriage was far from happy. Then one night he suddenly collapsed, and three days later died an agonizing death. His doctors immediately determined that he had been poisoned. The graphic and sensational details of the case would capture the public imagination of Victorian England as the investigation dominated the press for weeks, and the list of suspects grew to include Florence, her secret lover the eminent doctor James Gully, her long time companion the housekeeper Mrs. Cox, and the recently dismissed stableman George Griffiths. But ultimately no murderer could be determined, and despite the efforts of numerous historians, criminologists, and other writers since (including Agatha Christie), the case has never been definitively solved. Now James Ruddick retells this gripping story of love, greed, brutality, and betrayal among the elite — offering an intimate portrait of Victorian culture and of one woman’s struggle to live in this repressive society, while unmasking the true murderer for the first time. Simultaneously a murder mystery, colourful social history, and modern-day detective tale, Death at the Priory is a thrilling read and a window into a fascinating time. Goodreads

Having seen a fantastic review of Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason on Crimepieces I am keen to read Jar City, the first in the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries.

Jar City

Blurb

A man is found murdered in his Reykjavik flat. There are no obvious clues apart from a cryptic note left on the body and a photograph of a young girl’s grave. Detective Erlendur is forced to use all the forensic resources available to find any leads at all. Delving into the dead man’s life he discovers that forty years ago he was accused of an appalling crime. Did his past come back to haunt him? Erlendur’s search leads him to Iceland’s Genetic Research Centre in order to find the disturbing answers to the mystery. This prize-winning international bestseller is the first in a new series of crime novels set in Iceland. Goodreads

Strange Shores is the ninth book in this series so technically this find could add quite drastically to the TBR.

Having fallen in love with Alys Always by Harriet Lane I was delighted to see that she has another book due to be published in June, Her.

Her

Blurb

Two women; two different worlds. Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold. Nina is sophisticated and independent – entirely in control. When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did. But what exactly does Nina want from her? And how far will she go in pursuit of it? Amazon

And finally… an audio book. Now I confess I have tried two audio books and it is clear that I find it harder to concentrate on the story when listening rather than reading but I got a subscription so I need to persevere. So after enjoying The Outcast Dead so much I have chosen another from this series, Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths

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Blurb

Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway investigates her most heart-stopping case to date after an old university friend and fellow archeologist is murdered in an arson attack. Goodreads

Now I know reading book five after book six makes little sense but this one was on offer and I panicked!!

What have you all found this week, after all I’m sure there is room for another book or two on my TBR!