Posted in Uncategorized

My A-Z of Books

I saw this on Portebello Book Blog and By The Letter Book Reviews  and felt compelled to do this myself!

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From

This has to be Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine when you take into the stand-alones and the Wexford series I have devoured a fair few of her books.

Best Sequel Ever

This is really hard but I’m going to pick The Lewis Man by Peter May which is the middle book of the Lewis Trilogy – if you haven’t read these, you are missing out.

Currently Reading

Play Dead by Angela Marsons the fourth in the amazing Kim Stone series

Drink of Choice While ReadingCoffee

Coffee, coffee and coffee – I’m addicted

E-Reader or Physical Book
I love my kindle and couldn’t live without it for ease and space reasons but I now accept that I prefer a physical book

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School

At the time I was in high school it would have been Rupert Campbell-Black from Jilly Cooper’s Riders although he would have been far too old for me of course!

Fiver Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance

There are loads but most recently, Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris was an amazing read, one that has softened my opinion of literary fiction considerably.

Hidden Gem Book

White Lie by Andrea Gillies which blew me away with its deep and dark secrets that shaped generations of the Salter family in Scotland.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life

Being invited to join the Amazon Vine program which meant that I was offered books that I might previously have ignored which really expanded my reading.

Just Finished

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Kind of Books You Won’t Read

No fantasy novels or sci-fi – I’ve tried to embrace the genre but it just isn’t me!

Longest Book You’ve Read

I’m not sure this is the longest in all time but about six years ago I read London by Edward Rutherfield which came in at a whopping 1152 pages – it took a long time for me to read but it was worth it to travel through London’s history and witness the changes.

Major Book HangoverBuriel Rites

Ooh this is hard, possibly after reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent where I had immersed myself in Agnes’s story in Iceland where she awaited trial for murder with the Jonsson family – heartbreakingly sad!

Number of Bookcases You Own

Four but I desperately need a new one, I can’t part with any of the books currently residing in my abode!!

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times

Margaret Forster’s Shadow Baby a book which underlines the fact that mothers come in all shapes and sizes and not always in a good way! Better still this is one of those dual time-line stories which I love!

Preferred Place to Read

If I could be on holiday all year round it would be by the pool on a sun-lounger with a fruity cocktail – reality designates my dear bed though.

Quote that Inspires You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You’ve Read

I’m not sure that this inspires me so I’m going for the second half of the question from The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

Reading Regret

That I will never have time to read all the books that I want to! TBR cupboard

Series You Started and Need to Finish

Lots and lots, including those that I started part way through! The one I am most compelled to finish is Camilla Läckberg’s  Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck series– I’m up to book eight, Buried Angels but I think I still need to read book four too!

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to choose just three, I will but on the proviso that I can change my mind at any time to include the three-hundred books which would be a far fairer question.

Asta’s Book by Barbara Vine

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brook

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

Three books

Unapologetic Fangirl For

I’m not really a fangirl in the long-term way, maybe I don’t have the stamina but everyone who talks books to me gets told about the aforementioned Lewis Trilogy by Peter May

Very Excited for this Release more than All Others

This has to be Love You Dead by Peter James which is out later this month! Considering I am fairly rubbish at reading series, this is one I always pre-order and make space in the reading schedule for!

Worst Bookish Habit

Buying far too many books that deep down I know I will never have time to read.

X Marks the Spot: Start on the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, which is a ‘sliding-doors’ novel; Irina McGovern’s destiny hinges on a single kiss. Whether she stays with her reliable partner Lawrence, or runs off with Ramsey, a hard-living snooker player.

Your Latest Purchase

Pariah by David Jackson, the first in Detective Callum Doyle series bought because although I have the fourth in this series, Cry Baby, I enjoyed A Tapping at my Door so much I wanted to start at the beginning of his previous series.

Zzzzz-Snatcher Book (Last Book that Kept You up Way too late)

White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl which was not only compulsive reading, the subject matter was so dark sleep wouldn’t come easily anyway.

 

Reading silhouette

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

White is the Coldest Colour – John Nicholl

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller
4*s

This was one of the hardest book I’ve read in a long-time purely because of the subject matter, child abuse by a suave, determined paedophile who is in a position of power. Fortunately though, having been written by a former Police Officer and Social Worker it is impeccably researched and backed up by his professional experience.

Dr David Galbraith is the first character we meet, he is a child psychologist and the ring-leader of a paedophile ring, and he has an obsession with an eight year-old boy. I won’t deny that the details in the first chapter nearly had me set the book aside but fortunately the rest of the book doesn’t go into the details of the abuse rather it is an exploration of Dr Galbraith’s character viewed by the reader through his interactions with his PA, wife and young daughters as well as those with his patients and their parents, guardians and carers. These different faces that this arrogant and determined man shows the world with his innermost thoughts relayed to the reader that kept me gripped. In this respect it is rare to find a book that goes beyond the text-book definitions, John Nicholl has gone a step further and produced a ‘real-life’ monster resulting in a truly sinister character.

Fortunately we have some good characters in this book to balance out the evil Dr Galbraith. From these viewpoints we see the background to both the investigation and the multiple agencies involved when there is a suspicion of child abuse. Watching from the side-lines, so to speak, of these good people making decisions which will directly impact one young child, the tension ramps up to an almost unbearable level. Of course, as a reader we have pieces of the puzzle that these men and women don’t.

If you like your reads to be set at a fair old pace, this is a book that ticks that box without a doubt. Despite my initial reservations about the subject matter and the feeling of discomfort that lingered even when the book was set aside for real life, I was desperately keen to pick it up again and find out what was going to happen next which meant that I read some of this in short snatches in-between other activities. I know some of you read like this most of the time but I prefer to settle down with a book only when I have a reasonable stretch of time to do so – it really is a measure of quite how compelling the different stories within this book were that I over-rode that rule.

Leaving aside the despicable Dr Galbraith the other characters were well-drawn although if I were being hyper-critical some of the police et al lacked some depth probably because to focus too much on these would have interrupted the pace of the book. However even those viewed purely through Dr Galbraith’s eyes were realistic, his wife and PA particularly so because they were being seen through a distorted lens, a great achievement.

I am really glad I read this book although it will take me quite some time before I will forget some of the disturbing views it explored and I really appreciated the fine line the author trod to ensure that this didn’t become gratuitous. White is the Coldest Colour was published in April 2015 and I bought my copy after reading a number of great reviews by fellow bloggers.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 27)

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

At the moment I am reading a hard-hitting psychological thriller; White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl who worked as a policeman and a child protection officer.

White is the Coldest Colour

Blurb

Be careful who you trust…
The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality. Amazon

I recently finished Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris which despite not being a book I would have thought to pick up in a bookshop (my copy came unsolicited from the publisher) made for exceptional and thought-provoking reading. My review will follow soon!

Fiver Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

Blurb


‘There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral. That is the meaning of this quiet city, where the spire soars into the blue, where rivers and stories weave into one another, where lives intertwine.’

One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life. Amazon

Next I am planning on reading The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale which is due to be published on 5 May 2016.

The Wicked Boy

You can read the synopsis and a short excerpt in yesterday’s post.

What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments box below