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

I Found You – Lisa Jewell

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Contemporary Fiction
5*s

Lisa Jewell is an author you can absolutely depend upon to provide you with a story to lose yourself in and I Found You was no different. Those of you who think that this is shelved under light reading, you are wrong. There are dark aspects to this story which rival the best of the ‘grip-lit’ that adorn bookshop’s shelves the world over.

Cold and wet and staring out to see stands a man with no name. Well of course he has a name but he can’t remember anything. He hasn’t the faintest clue who he is or where he is. On the other side of the beach, behind a rain-streaked pane of glass stands Alice Lake. Alice is watching the man, all morning and into the afternoon when she is moved to take him a spare coat. Alice is a kind-hearted, if one who fate hasn’t handed her the best of luck. She has three children ranging from mid-teens to five-year old Ronnie and they all have different fathers but her luck has turned and she now has a good friend Derry in Ridinghouse Bay, East Yorkshire. Derry tells her to leave the man on the beach to his own devices, but Alice isn’t terribly good at following advice and she longs to know more about him.

In Surrey in a newly built flat Lily Monrose has lost her husband of three weeks. She has rung his mobile but there is no answer. Lily has only just landed in the country following their wedding in Ukraine and she knows no-one. With Carl missing Lily has to become resourceful if she’s to track down her husband.

These two storylines continue at parallel for part one of the book and then we slip back in time to 1993 and join a family holiday in Ridinghouse Bay. Coincidentally they are staying in the same house that Alice and her family inhabit in the present day. This turns out to be a holiday that no-one will forget.

This book, like so many of Lisa Jewell’s previous books captured me from the start. I wanted to know more about the man on the beach, I wanted to be free-spirited Alice’s friend, I put myself in Lily’s shoes and marvelled at her persistence and ingenuity in a foreign land and would happily have chatted to the family holidaying in Ridinghouse Bay. All the characters feel totally authentic and act in a realistic way which lends a great deal of depth to what turns into probably the darkest of all Lisa Jewell’s novels. I was gripped from the beginning and if there was a word for gripped more, then I was that from part two which resulted in total grippedness by the last pages of this book, which had me shedding a small tear or two for all that had gone before.

Reading this novel felt like meeting an old friend, or few; the writing style is ‘friendly’ and the first person present tense gives the feeling of immediacy which made me feel like I was at worst an onlooker although at times I really believed I was there as I came up with my own wild theories as to what was going on.

I Found You was published on 14 July 2016 by Random House UK who allowed me to read a copy of this book and this unbiased review is my thank you to them.

Publication Date UK: 14 July 2016
Publisher: Random House UK
No of Pages: 448
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

My favourite Lisa Jewell books:

click on the covers to read my reviews

Before I Met YouThe House We Grew Up InThe Making of UsThe Truth About Melody Browne

Lisa Jewell Novels
• I Found You (2016)
The Girls (2015)
The Third Wife (2014)
• The House We Grew Up In (2013)
• Before I Met You (2012)
• The Making Of Us (2011
• After The Party (2010)
• The Truth About Melody Browne (2009)
• 31 Dream Street (2007)
• Vince and Joy (2005
• A Friend of the Family (2004)
• One Hit Wonder (2001)
• Thirtynothing (2000)
• Ralph’s Party (1999)

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 13)

This Week In Books

Lypsyy 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

The book I’m reading at the moment is Death Come Knocking by Graham Bartlett with Peter James. This really is a really interesting look at real life policing in Brighton and cleverly linking to key plot-lines or character traits of the Roy Grace series.

Death Comes Knocking

To read an extract and the synopsis, please see yesterday’s post.

I’ve just finished I Found You by Lisa Jewell which was an excellent tale of a man who had lost his memory and wound up on a beach cold and wet. A book full of questions, just like I enjoy and much darker than you might expect.

I Found You

Blurb

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’
East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.
Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.
Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel. Amazon

Next up I am going to read A Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain which got rescheduled a few weeks back due to a lack of time. I’m going to be honest, I’m not really sure that I have time for it this week either as my life is full of work and wedding bits for my daughter – she has my whole weekend planned for me and hasn’t factored in this massive book! But I’m going to do my best to get started.

Testament of Youth

Blurb

In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Fancy any of these? Please share in the comments envelope below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 10)

Weekly Wrap Up

There was no weekly wrap up last week as I was celebrating my birthday in St Malo with friends, this beautiful French walled port city is just an hour away from Jersey by ferry and we managed to eat, drink, laugh and shop to our heart’s content.

St Malo Tourism

Due to lots of socialising and an insanely busy time at work, I haven’t really done an awful lot of reading in the last couple of weeks and looking ahead over the next couple of months, time is at a premium! Hey Ho! fortunately I still have some of my holiday reading reviews to post.

Last Week on the Blog

On Tuesday my post included an excerpt from The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, a story that seems to have echoes of real crime which will be published on 14 July 2016. This date seems to be incredibly popular, I have lots of books to review for that date (sadly it is unlikely impossible that I’m going to achieve this)

My review of Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant was posted on Wednesday, an author who has wowed me three times out of three with her unique psychological thrillers. This one was set in Greece and unusually narrated by a man.

Thursday saw me posting my review for the fifth of my 20 Books of Summer 2016 Challenge. It was the stunning non-fiction book The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams by Jane Robins which follows the investigation and trial into said doctor who was accused of murdering his patients for legacies in their wills back in 1950 Eastbourne. Fascinating stuff!

On Friday I joined The Book Jotter in her Six in Six meme to showcase a selection of the books I’ve read over the first half of 2016. There were lots of categories to choose from and I managed to complete it without repeating any choices!

Yesterday’s review was from a book published a decade ago – easily as enjoyable as many of my highly starred newer reviews and so it seems a shame not to shout as loudly about these old treasures as the newer shinier ones! Click here to read my review of The Dead Hour by Denise Mina

Stacking the Shelves

Of course not reading very much and having no time doesn’t mean that I haven’t been acquiring new books.

From NetGalley I have one from one of my favourite authors Lisa Jewell, I Found You which I’m so delighted with I will be opening it very soon. I Found You will be published on 14 July 2016

I Found You

Blurb

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’
East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.
Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Drew has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.
Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas Murphy, which will be published on 14 July 2016 by Head of Zeus.

Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane

Blurb

In April 1871, a constable walking a beat near Greenwich found a girl dying in the mud – her face cruelly slashed and her brains protruding from her skull.
The girl was Maria Jane Clouson, a maid for the respectable Pook family, and who was pregnant at the time of her death. When the blood-spattered clothes of the 20-year-old Edmund Pook, alleged father of the dead girl’s unborn child, were discovered, the matter seemed open and shut. Yet there followed a remarkable legal odyssey full of unexpected twists as the police struggled to build a case.
Paul Thomas Murphy recreated the drama of an extraordinary murder case and conclusively identifies the killer’s true identity. NetGalley

I received two books for my birthday from my brother; Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Little Black Lies Sandra Block

Blurb

She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own…
In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives – a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother – Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.
As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.
Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. Goodreads

and a copy of Did She Kill Him? by Kate Colquhoun, another book about Florence Maybrick (and of course poison.) I sent him a text thanking him for the inspired book choice and stating that I was into poisoning at the moment to which I got a super fast response commenting on how lucky my OH is to have me. If I’m ever forced to go onto Mastermind I think dear Florence will be my specialist subject!

Did She Kill Him

Blurb

In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick.
‘The Maybrick Mystery’ had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity. The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence’s past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud’s.
Florence’s fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Did she poison her husband? Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions? Was James’ own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise?
Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale of addiction, deception and adultery that keeps you asking to the very last page, did she kill him? Goodreads

And… there have been a lot of sale books on Kindle which I have gallantly resisted but The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid was a temptation too far.

The Skeleton Road

Blurb

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a dark world of intrigue and betrayal.
Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge — but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined . . . Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
We have progress!! Since my last post I have read just 4 books, gained 6 (I have an arc without details about a stalker too) so the total this week is now standing at 175 books!
88 physical books
68 e-books
19 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?