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

Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

Having just returned from Crete when I picked up this book I was absolutely delighted to be transported to the Greek setting of Sabine Durrant’s latest psychological thriller.

Although domestic thrillers have burst onto the scene in a big way in the last couple of years, this one definitely rang some changes for me, not least because our narrator is a man. Paul Morris by his own admission, although quite how much self-awareness accompanies this is doubtful, is a man who lives his life off the back of other’s fortune. Having had literary success in his early twenties, he has devoted the next twenty odd years to repeating this early acclaim. While living in a friend’s apartment he meets a woman called Alice who he has distant connections with through a friend from university. Alice has been widowed and is mother to two teenage children. She has a lease on a house in Greece and her and friends decamp for a trip to Pyros.

Alongside our narration in the present with the chauvinistic Paul, he really has a vile way of viewing females, we learn about a young girl named Jasmine who disappeared in Pyros some ten years before. Alice has assiduously been carrying out an awareness campaign for the whole time, having been there at the time Jasmine was first reported missing. But as the land that the house Alice leases is being developed, the ten-year anniversary is to be the last big push. Jasmine’s parents are on the island, an interesting couple who don’t quite fit with the rich and privileged group. Will this be the year that they find Jasmine?

So to the title, the whole story hinges on lies. Paul Morris tells plenty; Alice is unaware that he doesn’t own the smart London apartment, that he was in Pyros at the time of Jasmine’s disappearance or that his arrival this year, isn’t quite how it’s been presented. But is it possible that other members of the group have presented falsehoods as truths?

An interesting premise which delivers a cracking good read. Yes, there are a few coincidences to drive the storyline forward but I was, by the time these emerged, so intent on finding out what happened to Paul, there are some early excerpts from a time after the holiday, which are intriguing to say the least! I also was keen to understand what everyone knew about Jasmine. For instance the police are still advising that the case is being investigated, we even meet the local policeman who liaise with the family, and Alice and co. but there have been no firm sightings in the intervening ten years.

So the characters are for the most part either suffocatingly good which covers Alice and her friend Tina or arrogant and boorish which covers Andrew and Paul, or brattish which covers the four children who make up the party, so this probably isn’t the book to read if you want to feel affinity for the characters. If however you enjoy a good mystery and are prone to wondering about just how tangled a web you can weave with lies, this will absolutely be the book you want to take on your holiday, especially if you’re off to Greece.

Lie With Me was published by Mulholland Books on 5 July 2016 and they were kind enough to send me a copy which I accepted in return for this honest review.

Other Fabulous Books by Sabine Durrant

Under Your Skin
Remember Me This Way

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (June 29)

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

Last week went a bit awry so while I fully intended to be reading Testament of Youth, deadlines mean that I have shuffled the books and have a different collection to share with you this week.

I am currently reading The Shrimp and the Anemone by L.P. Hartley which is number 8 in my 20 Books of Summer Challenge.

The Shrimp and the Anemone

An evocative account of a childhood summer spent beside the sea in Norfolk by brother and sister, Eustace and Hilda and is the first in a trilogy of tales about these siblings. The Shrimp and the Anemone takes place when they are children, The Sixth Heaven when they are in their early 20’s, and Eustace and Hilda finalises the trilogy when they are in their late 20’s.

I have just finished Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant a fast-moving psychological thriller which unusually has a man as the protagonist.

Lie With Me

My review will follow shortly but in the meantime you can read a synopsis and a taster from this book, see yesterday’s post.

Next up I am planning on reading Liz Nugent’s second novel, Lying in Wait which will be published on 7 July 2016. If you can’t wait that long, and haven’t already done so I highly recommend her debut novel: Unravelling Oliver!

Lying in wait

Blurb

Another absorbing, twisty, brilliantly observed story of murder in high places.
The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don’t plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden. Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.
While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart. But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl’s family may be the undoing of his own. NetGalley

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

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (June 28)

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 opening this week comes from Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant which will be published by Mulholland on 5 July 2016.

Lie With Me

Blurb

It starts with a lie. The kind we’ve all told – to a former acquaintance we can’t quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.
And the next thing you know, you’re having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday – swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of…
Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you’re trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you – by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it’s the lies that cause the real damage…
… well, by then, it could just be too late. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


August 2015

It struck me in the night that it might have started earlier. I sat up in horror and in the darkness, used my fingernail to scratch the word ‘BOOKSHOP’ on the inside of my forearm. It has gone now: the skin is inflamed due to an infected insect bite, which I must further scratched at in my sleep. Still, the act of writing did the trick, as it tends to. This morning I can remember well enough.
Hudson & Co: the secondhand bookshop in Charing Cross Road. I have been assuming it began there – that none of it would have happened if my eye hadn’t been caught be that silly little shop assistant’s red hair. But am I wrong? Were the forces already in motion, in the weeks and months before that? Does the trail of poison lead back, long before the bloody girls disappearance, to university? Or before then, even – to school, to that moment in 1973 when I struggled, puce-faced, into this unforgiving world?

This extract comes from a proof copy.

I’m not usually a fan of a prologue which is what this excerpt appears to amount, to but I think this one does set the story up very well, and better still it isn’t a prologue, there is more from the present later on in this book.

I love a lot of questions to get me thinking before I plunge into the story and this opening really captured my attention.

So what do you think? Would you keep reading?

Please leave your thoughts and links in the envelope below!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (May 29)

Weekly Wrap Up

 

Last Week on the Blog

I started the week with a review for one a contemporary fiction story with a dark edge; The Accidental Life of Greg Millar written by Aimee Alexander

On Tuesday I was part of the blog tour for Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, an excellent read in this, her third book. You can tell I like this author as her second book, Pretty Baby is sitting in my header picture!

And on Wednesday I kept you updated on my reading choices for the week which include two big names; Mark Billingham and Sharon Bolton.

My review of My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry went up on publication day 26 May 2016

Friday saw me deciding what books I am going to read for Cathy 746 #20 Books of Summer – there is still time for you all to join in – Part 1 of my list is here

And I finished the week with what is probably my favourite crime fiction read of the year; Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton received the full five stars from yours truly in this review.

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News

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed my reading has slowed to a snail-like pace, this week’s excuse is I took a trip to London with my darling daughter, a birthday present to her and to get wedding accoutrements, including the dreaded hat for me. Thanks to a wonderful woman in Debenhams on Oxford Street the hat has now arrived in Jersey. The weekend saw us walk over 20,000 steps both days so exercise targets were met too.

Charlie and the Chocolate factory

In the evening we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. It was a wonderful production with the starring role(s) definitely going to the Oompa Loompas!

Sadly the Muffin Man wasn’t in sight…
Do you know the muffin man?
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man
Who lives in Drury Lane?

On Tuesday I was thrilled to spot a tweet from Catherine Ryan Howard advertising Distress Signals with a quote from my review!

#DistressSignals

I also spotted this on Amazon for Little Bones by Sam Blake so I’m feeling just a little bit famous this week.

Product Description

Incredibly engrossing with many twists & turns along the way…I would happily recommend Little Bones to anyone looking for a fast paced crime thriller Swirl and Thread Blog The start of an exciting new crime series introducing fearless Detective Cat Connolly… one of the year’s most thrilling reads. Easons Little Bones is a fascinating story about old sins and family secrets. I found the book engrossing from the start, thanks to both the interesting story and its characters. — Magdalena Johansson A Bookaholic Swede Blog I was incredibly impressed by Little Bones. If you like your crime fiction to involve the more traditional police procedural, one that has a little more complexity to the generic, this may well be a book that you will really enjoy. Cleopatra Loves Books Blog Little Bones has suspense, mystery, suspicious death, festering families, a brilliantly executed plot, PLUS characters with plenty of flavour Little Bookness Lane Blog

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Stacking the Shelves

I’ve had a few additions to the TBR this week – with some great approvals from NetGalley

First up Truly Madly Guilty by the outstanding Liane Moriarty which will be published by Penguin UK on 28 July 2016.

Truly Madly Guilty

Blurb

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.
For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.
But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.
Which is how it all spirals out of control… NetGalley

Another one from Twenty7 Books is Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan which isn’t out until 3 November 2016.

Cut to the Bone

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she’s missing. She’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video’s uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.
Who better to head up the investigation than the Met’s rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She’s leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It’s time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Superintendent Zain Harris – poster boy for multiracial policing and the team’s newest member – has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he’s around, can she trust herself?
Ruby’s millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares. And the videos keep coming . . . NetGalley

And… drum roll… I have a copy of Gilly Macmillan’s second book; The Perfect Girl which has already been published in eBook format but will be out in paperback on 25 August 2016 by Little Brown Book Group.

The Perfect Girl

Blurb

To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey – child genius, musical sensation – is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she’s free.
Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life.
By midnight, her mother is dead.
The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance, and a past that she cannot leave behind. NetGalley

In the post I have a copy of Intrusion by Mary McCluskey a psychological thriller that is being published on 1 July 2016 by Little A. Intrusion

Blurb

Kat and Scott Hamilton are dealing with the hardest of losses: the death of their only child. While Scott throws himself back into his law practice in Los Angeles, Kat is hesitant to rejoin the workplace and instead spends her days shell-shocked and confused, unable to focus.
When an unwelcome face from Kat’s past in England emerges—the beautiful and imposing Sarah Cherrington—Kat’s marriage is thrown into a tailspin. Now wealthy beyond anything she could have imagined as a girl, Sarah appears to have everything she could need or want. But Sarah has an agenda and she wants one more thing. Soon Kat and Scott are caught up in her devious games and power plays.
Against the backdrops of Southern California and Sussex, in spare and haunting prose, Mary McCluskey propels this domestic drama to its chilling conclusion. Goodreads

I also have a copy of Sabine Durrant’s latest book, Lie With Me which came unbidden ahead of publication on 5 July 2016 by Mulholland Books. I strongly suspect I was sent this ARC because I enjoyed the author’s previous books Under Your Skin and Remember Me This Way, both books that I awarded five stars.

Lie With Me

Blurb

It starts with a lie. The kind we’ve all told – to a former acquaintance we can’t quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.
And the next thing you know, you’re having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday – swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of…
Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you’re trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you – by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it’s the lies that cause the real damage…
… well, by then, it could just be too late. Amazon

And if that wasn’t enough for someone who isn’t acquiring new books… I have also bought a kindle copy of The Mistake by Wendy James. This book was originally bought to my attention by the marvellous Margot Kinberg at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, if you haven’t done so I highly recommend visiting her blog!

The Mistake

Blurb

We all have secrets . . . Jodie Garrow is a teenager from the wrong side of the tracks when she falls pregnant. Scared, alone and desperate to make something of her life, she adopts out the baby illegally and tells nobody. Twenty-five years on, Jodie has built a new life and a new family. But when a chance meeting brings the adoption to the notice of the authorities, Jodie becomes caught in a nationwide police investigation, and the centre of a media witch hunt. What happened to Jodie’s baby? And where is she now? The fallout from Jodie’s past puts her whole family under the microscope, and her husband and daughter must re-examine everything they believed to be true. Potent, provocative and compulsively readable, The Mistake is the story of a mother and the media’s powerful role in shaping our opinions. With astonishing insight, it cuts to the heart of what makes a family, and asks us whether we can ever truly know another person. ‘The kind of novel that will have you second-guessing your own reactions and skilfully exposes the troubling expectations we resort to in the absence of hard evidence. Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Oh dear oh dear! Since my last count I have read 3 books,  – I have however gained 6 books – the total this week is now standing at a shocking 181 books!
95 physical books
69 e-books
17 books on NetGalley

 

What have you found to read this week?