Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Hell Bay – Kate Rhodes

Crime Fiction
4*s

This is a new series by Kate Rhodes featuring DI Ben Kitt who is visiting his home, Bryher, one of the smallest of the Scilly Isles. The title of the book is taken from the name of an Atlantic facing cove on the island named Hell Bay. In the 18th and 19th centuries this was apparently a notorious spot for shipwrecks caught on the rocks at this point.

Living on an island myself it is no surprise that I have a fondness for books set on them and Bryher is the ultimate in island destinations, very small populated by a small community who like to think everyone knows everything about everyone, how could it be that a teenage girl ends up dead with no-one seeing anything untoward? Ah small town settings or islands so few suspects and no chance that anyone had left the island by boat by the time the murder was discovered.  How hard can finding the perpetrator be?

Meanwhile we are aware that DI Kitt is on extended leave from the Metropolitan police but the reasons why aren’t revealed for a while. All he has for company as he lives in his deceased mother’s house is a dog named Shadow that he doesn’t seem overly keen on. But the island is home and he has friends and family in the form of Ray, a boatyard owner so he uses the skills he learnt as a young boy to lend a hand to building a boat. But as soon as it becomes obvious that the local police force aren’t used to dealing with murder he offers his services, after all having worked on the Murder Squad for a decade he has the requisite skills.

Laura Trescothick’s death changes life on the island immediately with the locals scared by the knowledge that there is a killer in their midst. After all this is somewhere where doors are left unlocked, the local shop provides food for one of the residents in exchange for honey and herbs and the pub’s landlady takes it upon herself to serve the returned policeman, also her godson, Cranberry juice when she feels this will benefit his health more than the alcohol he requested. One of the advantages of being an island though is that the journalists can be kept at bay, essentially no-one can leave or come to the island until the perpetrator is found, handcuffed and carted off, by boat to the nearest island with some cells, St Mary.

The characters are complex, yes all of them. We have an American artist, a smallholder, a rich businessman intent on owning all available property on the island and a hotel proprietor who still longs to be a singer. There is also a young bereaved woman who has moved to the island for the peace and quiet but who holds her secrets close to her chest, so you see there are many fascinating people to get to know as we begin to understand their stories.

This is a brilliantly multi-layered story that gets better and better as the story unfolds. This is a brilliant read for those who enjoy their crime fiction to be measured rather than frantic and like putting the pieces of the puzzle together for themselves. The superb plotting combined with the often bleak island setting and the complicated DI Ben Kitto made for rewarding reading.

I’d like to thank the publishers Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read an advance copy of Hell Bay, this unbiased review is my thanks to them. The hardback and eBook versions of this book was published on 25 January 2018 however if you want to wait for the paperback is will be published on 3 May 2018. I’m also delighted to confirm that it appears that DI Ben Kitto will be back in another book in this series called Ruin Beach, hopefully fairly soon as there was an excerpt at the back of this ARC!

First Published UK: 25 January 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
No of Pages: 400
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 17)

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

I am currently reading Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes set on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher Hell Bay 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

The last book I finished was The Story of Our Lives by Helen Warner which covers four women over a time-span of twenty years through the highs and lows. This book will be published on 8 February 2018.


Blurb

Four friends. Twenty years. One powerful secret.

There are certain dates on which you’ll always remember where you were…The day Princess Diana died. 9/11. The London 2012 opening ceremony.

The same is true for Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa who have been best friends since they met twenty years ago.
As history has moved on around them, they have seen each other through everything. From Sophie’s secret fear that she doesn’t actually want to be a mother despite having two kids, to Amy’s perfect-on-the-outside-abusive-on-the inside marriage to Melissa’s spiralling alcoholism and Emily’s single motherhood.

But could a lie that spans just as long tear them apart?
A moving, unputdownable novel about four incredible friendships, and the stories we all share. Amazon

Next, because I am going away for a long weekend in the Peak District and I like my reading to be relevant, I’m going to be reading A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward.

Blurb

When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.
But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.

What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career. Amazon

What does your reading week look like? Have you read any of my choices? Are you planning to?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (January 2)

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.

Well it’s a while since I’ve joined in with this meme!

This week I’m featuring a book I will be reading later this month; Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes will be published on 25 January 2018. This is a new series from this author whose previous Alice Quentin series was a huge hit with me.

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Laura steals out of bed while the rest of the island sleeps. By 6 a.m. she’s in the kitchen, cramming toast into her mouth, staring out at the late winter darkness. North wind batters her face as she leaves the cottage, a whiplash of blonde hair streaming across her shoulders. All of her sixteen years have been spent her; she only has to glance at the sky to second-guess its moods. A line of pink is gathering over Gweal Hill as she climbs its sharp incline, careful not to snag her tights on the bracken and coarse grass.

Excerpt taken from an ARC

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Personally I think that sets the scene very well indeed in conjunction with the synopsis, already in just a couple of sentences I have a feel for Laura’s world.

So would you keep reading?
Your thoughts in the comments box are always gratefully received.

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

Posted in 5 Of the Best

Five of the Best (May 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!

2011

My favourite read in May 2011 was the one that first graced my bedside table when I moved into my current home, and what a read it was! This book still sits on my bookshelf and even better, this author’s subsequent books have meant that she is now on the ‘must-read’ list.
The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen

The Mistresses Revenge

Click on the book cover to read my review

Blurb

You think you are rid of me.
You think you have drawn a line under the whole affair.
You are so, so wrong.

For five years, Sally and Clive have been lost in a passionate affair. Now he has dumped her, to devote himself to his wife and family, and Sally is left in freefall.
It starts with a casual stroll past his house, and popping into the brasserie where his son works. Then Sally befriends Clive’s wife and daughter on Facebook. But that’s alright isn’t it? I mean they are perfectly normal things to do. Aren’t they?
Not since Fatal Attraction has the fallout from an illicit affair been exposed in such a sharp, darkly funny and disturbing way.. After all, who doesn’t know a normal, perfectly sane woman who has gone a little crazy when her heart was broken? Amazon

2012 yr

Sadly I didn’t award any books the full five stars in May 2012 so my choice goes to the strongest of the four star reads; Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes which is the first in the series featuring Alice Quentin, a psychologist

Crossbones Yard

Blurb

Alice Quentin is a psychologist with some painful family secrets, but she has a good job, a good-looking boyfriend, and excellent coping skills, even when that job includes evaluating a convicted killer who’s about to be released from prison. One of the highlights of her day is going for a nice, long run around her beloved London—it’s impossible to fret or feel guilty about your mother or brother when you’re concentrating on your breathing—until she stumbles upon a dead body at a former graveyard for prostitutes, Crossbones Yard.
The dead woman’s wounds are alarmingly similar to the signature style of Ray and Marie Benson, who tortured and killed thirteen women before they were caught and sent to jail. Five of their victims were never found. That was six years ago, and the last thing Alice wants to do is to enter the sordid world of the Bensons or anyone like them. But when the police ask for her help in building a psychological profile of the new murderer, she finds that the killer—and the danger to her and the people she cares about—may already be closer than she ever imagined. Goodreads

2013yr

My May 2013 choice was inspired my daughter’s history dissertation from the previous year which was on the cheery subject of infanticide, Caversham Lock by Michael Stewart Conway features the infamous baby farmer in Victorian England, Amelia Dyer.

Caversham Lock

Click on the book cover to read my review

Blurb

When a parcel containing a dead baby is pulled from the Thames, detectives Furnivall and Stubbs are sent to deal with the matter. They investigate at breakneck speed- it is 1896, after all, and they have all the advantages of the modern world to help them. Using microscopes, the rail network and the telegraph, they identify the culprits- a Mrs Dyer and her daughter, Polly. Even as they close in, Mrs Dyer has been back to Caversham Lock with another victim. By the time the two women are arrested there are seven little bodies in the mortuary at Reading. Each has Mrs Dyer’s trademark white dressmaker’s tape around its neck.
The case doesn’t work out as planned, however, and they’re forced to travel to the west country. Despite being under strict orders to return to Reading, they set an ambush on the Clifton Suspension Bridge. But a storm is rolling in, and there is another man in Bristol – a man from the Home Office sent to clean up his superiors’ mistakes. Goodreads

2014yr

The Ties That Bind
by Erin Kelly is my top choice from May 2014. Erin Kelly is one of my favourite authors and this tale that features a writer attempting to emulate his hero Truman Capote. This book about atonement has far more depth than we are normally treated to.

The Ties That Bind

Click on the book cover to read my review

Blurb

Could a soul, once sold, truly be redeemed?
Luke is a true crime writer in search of a story. When he flees to Brighton after an explosive break-up, the perfect subject lands in his lap: reformed gangster Joss Grand. Now in his eighties, Grand once ruled the Brighton underworld with his sadistic sidekick Jacky Nye – until Jacky washed up by the West Pier in 1968, strangled and thrown into the sea. Though Grand’s alibi seems cast-iron, Luke is sure there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and he convinces the criminal-turned-philanthropist to be interviewed for a book about his life.
Luke is drawn deeper into the mystery of Jacky Nye’s murder. Was Grand there that night? Is he really as reformed a character as he claims? And who was the girl in the red coat seen fleeing the murder scene? Soon Luke realises that in stirring up secrets from the past, he may have placed himself in terrible danger. Goodreads

2015yr

Somehow it is always hardest to pick the favourite of the last month’s reading without the benefit of the test of time but this month’s book is an intelligent and insightful read that really ‘spoke’ to me, as well as being a cracking good read…. drum roll please… My choice is Evil Games by Angela Marsons which was only published on Friday.

Evil Games

Click on the book cover to read my review

Blurb

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.
With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.
Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal. Goodreads

I hope you have enjoyed my trip through my May reads, if you missed the previous months you can find them here:

January Five of the Best
February Five of the Best
March Five of the Best
April Five of the Best

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

The Winter Foundlings – Kate Rhodes

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

This, the third in the Alice Quentin series has our protagonist leaving Guy’s to carry out a study of psychopaths at Northwood. She is leaving London and her work with the Metropolitan Police as an advisor following the trauma of her last case with them, A Killing of Angels.

This book has a very strong story-line which links the present crimes to those committed by infamous Louis Kinsella who had killed young girls years previously and was the subject of renowned psychologist Alan Nash’s published study. In the present day a killer is pursuing young girls and presenting them in cardboard coffins dressed up in a Victorian white dress as were worn by the foundlings who were taken into the Foundling Hospital in London, before sending Louis Kinsella a token in a macabre imitation of the tokens originally given to the children by those families who hoped to reclaim their children when the hospital originally opened.

 

The Foundlings Museum
The Foundlings Museum
Tokens left by families to reclaim their children
Tokens left by families to reclaim their children

As in the previous books in this series The Crossbones Yard and A Killing of Angels our protagonist’s character is well-defined and likeable. Alice’s family is still the backdrop to the main plot but continues to give the reader an insight into her beginnings and why she sometimes reacts the way she does. The other characters are also realistic, obviously readers of the whole series will have already met DCI Don Burns but there are also a whole host of new characters to get to know and to confuse the investigation.

The plot is well thought out, the whodunit had me totally fooled although in no way undermined by the preceding story. With a pace that is swift but not so much so that this feels like there is too much packed into the story and despite the harrowing story-line none it is not gruesome. I like the fact that as in Crossbones Yard the story links back to historical fact. Alice visiting the exhibitions at the Foundling Museum had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end because this part is not a story, it really happened. To add the feeling of claustrophobia and horror England is gripped in the midst of a snowy winter and it is testament to the author’s skill in that I felt chilled to the bone.

I’m sure this book would read well as a standalone book as there is no complex story arc. This is my favourite book of the series mainly because of the link to the historical background and I have my fingers crossed that Kate Rhodes has another book in the pipeline.

I’d like to thank the publishers Hodder & Stoughton who gave me a copy of this book in return for my honest review. The Winter Foundlings was published on 14 August 2014.

Previous Books in the Alice Quentin Series
Crossbones Yard
A Killing of Angels

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (August 13)

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 The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes the third in the Alice Quentin series, I read the second one A Killing of Angels .

The Winter Foundlings

Blurb

The girl was lying on the steps of the Foundling Museum, dressed all in white.
Four girls have disappeared in North London. Three are already dead.
Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been locked up in Northwood high-security hospital for over a decade. Now more innocents are being slaughtered, and they all have a connection to his earlier crimes.
Psychologist Alice Quentin is doing research at Northwood. She was hoping for a break from her hectic London life, but she’ll do anything to help save a child – even if it means forming a relationship with a charismatic, ruthless murderer.
But Kinsella is slow to give away his secrets, and time is running out for the latest kidnap victim, who is simply trying to survive… Amazon

I have just finished a book written (in part) by my favourite author Erin Kelly. Broachurch was based on a British hit TV series written by Chris Chibnall.
Click on the book cover to read my review

Broadchurch

Next I am going to read Your Beautiful Lies by Louise Douglas which has a beautiful cover and it’s set at the time of the strikes of the 1980’s which I remember well.
Your Beautiful Lies

Blurb

Annie Howarth is living a restless life in a restless town. It’s 1987 and for a mining community in South Yorkshire, the strikes mean tensions are running high. Then a murdered girl is found on the moors and the anxiety levels are pushed to a dangerous breaking point.
Married to the Chief of Police, Annie should feel safe – William can be secretive, though surely whatever he’s hiding is for her own good.
But Annie is keeping her own secrets. Ten years ago the man she loved was ripped from her life in a scandal that still haunts the both of them, and now his return will put her family, her marriage, even her life, at risk. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share as I’m always on the look out for more new reads!

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

A Killing of Angels – Kate Rhodes

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction
4*’s

Alice Quentin, a psychologist, is back in A Killing of Angels, the second book in this series, the first being Crossbones Yard.

In the middle of a stifling summer in London a banker from Angel Bank is killed, and with his body is found a white feather and a picture of an angel. Detective Inspector Don Burns, now in a new position following his previous case, calls on Alice for assistance in profiling the killer as he fears the perpetrator is not going to stop at one killing; he is right. Alice is reluctant what happened previously had put her off working with the police, but Don Burns is persuasive, and she relents.

This book is firmly rooted in the banking crisis where money means more than life. The pictures of angels also introduces the reader to renaissance art, the juxtaposition of biblical angels with more modern aspects of the media is exceptionally well executed which just adds a feeling of reality to the complexity of the plot.

Kate Rhodes handles the pace of the book with aplomb. The twists are brutal and compelling. Alice’s personal life living with her bi-polar brother gives the story a domestic edge as the realities of her relationship with her mother and brother are explored without detracting from the main plot. As well as her work with the police Alice has a case-load of patients which just adds to her stress levels which she relieves by running through London. There is no doubt in the books setting, the author brings the streets of London to life with her descriptions.

This is a very satisfying sequel where the protagonist is struggling with the aftermath of the previous case. The change is noticeable and it is interesting to have a story arc where events have a profound effect on the character, this isn’t the case for Alice and she makes some errors of judgement which to me only served to feel that she is ‘real.’

I am looking forward to the next in this series, The Winter Foundlings published later this month.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (May 16)

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!

So this week somehow I have some new finds from NetGalley, they were requested some time ago (of course!)

Now That You’re Gone by Julie Corbin

Now That You're Gone

Blurb

When the body of Isla’s brother, an ex-Marine and private investigator, is pulled from the River Clyde, she is convinced he was murdered. When the coroner declares Dougie’s died of accidental drowning and rules out foul play, the police are happy to close the case. But Isla has other ideas.
Determined to find out what really happened the night Dougie died, and why he was even in Glasgow, she starts looking into his unsolved cases. What she finds will put her in grave danger and force her to question everything she thought she knew about those closest to her . . .Amazon

I also have a copy of The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes. This is the third in the Alice Quentin series, this is actually two reads as I must read A Killing of Angels (the second in the series) too.

The Winter Foundlings
Blurb

The girl’s body lay on the steps of the Foundling Museum. She was dressed all in white, and tagged with the number 12.
Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, murdered nine children before he was caught and locked away for life in Northwood high-security hospital. Now someone is carrying on his work. Four girls have disappeared in North London. Three are already dead…
Psychologist Alice Quentin is working at Northwood, hoping for space and time away from her hectic London life. But she’ll do anything to save a child’s life – even if it means sitting down with a charismatic, ruthless killer and putting herself in greater danger than ever before. Goodreads

I have acquired a copy of The Lie of You by Jane Lythell

The Lie of You

Blurb

To the outside world, Kathy is the very picture of a happy and fulfilled modern woman. She has a beautiful baby boy, a clever, handsome husband and a glamorous, high-powered job.
But not everybody is fooled. Her employee, Heja, knows the truth: the cracks in Kathy’s marriage, her self-doubt, her fear of failure at work. Heja is perfectly placed to destroy Kathy’s life. And if she succeeds, she can claim the one thing she wants most…Goodreads

and I have been lent a copy of 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff which my friend found (before me) at the book sale we went to a couple of weeks ago.

84 Charing Cross Road
Blurb

It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm and charming long-distance friendship lasting many years.

The same kind friend has also lent me a copy of Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Night Music

Blurb

The Spanish House is a hotch potch of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known to locals as an architectural folly, and is now nearly derelict to boot.
When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline – the only hope she has of providing for her two children without having to sell her most treasured possession. But for neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge – on the family who ruined his father. For his wife it’s the key to the perfect family life, while a struggling property developer sees in it a whole new future.
As desires clash and intertwine, lives and loves are demolished – and the Spanish House becomes a true folly indeed . . .Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Books I want to Read

Too many books not enough time

I have come to the conclusion that the amount of time I spend looking at books that I want to read is seriously impinging on my available reading time.

At the moment I look at the recommendations on Amazon, look at what friends have read on Goodreads thereby swelling my wishlist which is held on Amazon on a regular basis. Today the number of books that I have on said wishlists (of course they are split into groups) is 78, given that on average I read just under 100 books per year is that too many? I do every now and again look at reviews of books that were added before they were published and remove those that no longer appeal but…. too many books and not enough time.

I have about 6 weeks until my holiday where I have promised myself that I won’t take books from Netgalley or Amazon Vine I will choose some from my wishlist so my next task is to decide which ones make it to this exclusive club

On the list so far:

The Dolls House – Louise Phillips
A Killing of Angels – Kate Rhodes
The Stranger You Know – Jane Casey
The Silent Tide – Rachel Hore
Until You’re Mine – Samantha Hayes

Five books by authors whose previous books have hit the spot

Louise Phillips

Red RibbonsRed Ribbons by Louise Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the perfect example of a good thriller, there is a cohesive plot line, not too many instances where the reader has to suspend belief and characters who you feel you know.

Red Ribbons is told from three main different viewpoints. Dr Kate Pearson who is a psychologist helping the police to discover the profile of a killer. A young girl was found buried in Dublin Mountains with red ribbons in her hair, soon afterwards another young girl is found, again with unknown red ribbons. Ellie Brady who is a patient in an asylum, incarcerated 14 years previously and our killer who is bored of his job, his colleagues and brooding over the recent death of his mother. As a reader there are plenty of clues to fit together, including how does Ellie’s story connect to those of the recent dead girls? The Police are battling against time to stop the killer taking any more young lives and Kate is doing her best to guide them in the right direction whilst dealing with a less than happy domestic situation.

I found this book totally absorbing; one that I had to keep reading to find out how all the pieces of the puzzle would fit together. I am delighted to hear Louise Phillips has written The Doll’s House due out August 2013.

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Kate Rhodes

Crossbones YardCrossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crossbones Yard is where Alice Quentin finds a woman’s body, just outside the memorial gates to the graveyard where fallen women were buried from the 16th Century.

This crime novel works well, Alice is a psychologist with a difficult past who is asked by the police to interview Maurice Cley a man who is due to be released from prison. Maurice was a close friend of the serial killers Ray and Marie Benson who had killed 13 young women . With a potential copycat killing Alice becomes more involved helping the police. Alice has plenty of other worries; her brother Will is mentally ill, her friend homeless, she is doubtful about her current relationship and she has a busy workload.

I enjoyed reading the snippets of Alice’s cases in her daily working life. The characters were well drawn and realistic although the constant reference to Alice’s dislike of lifts and love of running began to grate by the end of the book. The writing sets this book apart with a great pace bringing the book to its dramatic conclusion.

I believe this is the first of a three book deal for Kate Rhodes and I look forward to the next book in this series.

I was lucky enough to receive this book from the Amazon Vine Programme

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Jane Casey

The Last GirlThe Last Girl by Jane Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the three previous books by Jane Casey The Missing, her debut novel, The Burning and The Reckoning featuring DC Maeve Kerrigan, I was keen to see what the next installment would bring. This book begins with Lydia’s mother and twin sister found dead, her father received a blow to the head but she escaped unhurt. What happened in the house that evening, what was the motive and who is keeping secrets?

Jane Casey’s books don’t just stick to one investigation they are realistic and there are a number of things going on in the Met at the same time. Maeve is still coping with her arrogant boss Derwent and her personal life isn’t quite as good as she’d hoped but she fights on with spirit. The police characters are well defined the cases to be solved have the feel of authenticity without boring us with paperwork etc. The secondary characters were all sufficiently awful to provide many suspects to consider. The only reason why I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because I didn’t find this case quite as exciting as those in the previous books but being well written the story flowed along leaving the reader to ponder who did it and why

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Rachel Hore

The Memory GardenThe Memory Garden by Rachel Hore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Memory Garden is set in Merryn Hall in Cornwall. Mel takes a sabbatical from lecturing to write a book about Cornish artists whilst recovering both from the death of her mother and a painful split from her long-time boyfriend Jake.

The split is fairly even between the past and the present and both stories are engaging, Pearl a daughter of uncertain parentage goes to work as a servant at Merryn Hall in 1912 taking with her a box of paints. In the present day, Mel helps Patrick, the new owner of Merryn Hall, to renovate the garden hoping to restore it to it’s former glory. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that both Mel and Pearl face similar relationship problems in their quest to be happy.

I have read all Rachel Hore’s previous books and although I liked this book it wasn’t as good as the The Glass Painter’s Daughter which was outstanding.

This is an easy read with quite a range of characters, all well developed and engaging, I have A Gathering Storm on my wish list.

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Samantha Hayes

UnspokenUnspoken by Samantha Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book written from the viewpoint of a couple, Murray and Julia, on the verge of divorcing and Mary Julia’s mother.

Mary is found mute by her daughter who visits for Christmas Day and the story revolves around what happened to cause this. Running parrallel is about a local girl who Julia finds badly hurt nearby. The local GP David steps into help with Mary and Julia falls hard for him.

I’m not going to ruin the story because although a lot of it is fairly obvious I found myself eager to find out exactly what happened to all concerned. Some parts of the story are not convincing at all but still well worth a read.

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