Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Ward Zero – Linda Huber

Psychological Thriller 3*s
Psychological Thriller
3*s

Well it’s a long time since I’ve read a book set in a hospital, not my favourite of places, but I was intrigued about which direction the author was going to take this psychological thriller after all you don’t have to think too hard to imagine all sorts of mischief being committed with a setting so full people at their most vulnerable!

Min is Sarah’s foster mother, a woman she clearly loves, and having been injured she’s been taken to a busy NHS hospital in Manchester. The early descriptions of the hospital are accurate from the picture of a hospital that has grown piecemeal to accommodate the local population, the busy and harried staff and the patients in varying degrees of distress that inhabit the wards. Yet that isn’t enough for Linda Huber who gives these scenes that extra menacing edge already having ramped up the tension through an excerpt by the man who is clearly out to harm so from page one there is no doubt at all that something bad is going to happen! From that first visit Sarah is on edge, the hospital reminds her of the death of her parents and how she came to be in Min’s care in the first place.

While the plot is full of darkness there are also touching moments in it too as Sarah meets Frankie, the grandchild of another patient who has also spent time living with Min. When Frankie’s mother disappears things get complicated as she moves in with the recovering Min and Sarah while the police try to track her down. Throughout all of these major goings on there is also some missing money to track down and Sarah is determined to find out who took it and protect any other victims. Sarah is undoubtedly one of life’s ‘nice people’, as is Min but working out some of the other characters is far harder.
Linda Huber has come up with some complex storylines within this book and so you do have to have your wits about you, particularly at the beginning to ensure you keep track of who is who but it doesn’t take too long before the book really gets into its stride with the characters being quite distinct making the storyline far easier to follow than I first feared. There are a number of suspects for the anonymous voice that should you forget for more than a minute or so intones further feelings of dread throughout this novel.

The author has written a classic page-turner, I wanted to know who had murder in mind, I loved the palpable tension but I was less keen on the motive for the crimes being so obviously spelt out. My personal preference is for the motives to be revealed last in this kind of psychological suspense novel and because of my preference I found the motive to be less convincing than I may have done if it had been revealed later. If you want a dark tale and to see some of the stories you will have read in the news turned into a book, you couldn’t wish for much more from this little gem. I would keep well away from Brockburn General Hospital though!

I’d like to thank the author for allowing me to read a copy of Ward Zero and I’d also like to extend my apologies for the illness that prevented this review being posted prior to the publication date of 1 October 2016.

 

First Published UK: 1 October 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
No of Pages: 228
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Previous Books I’ve read by Linda Huber

The Cold Cold Sea

They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose from her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and dialled 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life.
Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a niggling worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain.
Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No-one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no-one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family. Amazon

Chosen Child

A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.
Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…
How well do you know your own family? And who can you trust? Amazon

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 21)

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 Woman in Cabin 10 by the talented Ruth Ware tells the tale of Lo Blacklock who is on the trip of a lifetime to see the Northern Lights as a perk of her job as a travel journalist. Just before she was due to leave on the trip Lo’s home was broken into while she was there, she’s justifiably traumatised so when she thinks she witnesses a murder while on board the boat, she’s not sure what to believe. Is she on board with a murderer or has she imagined it?

The Woman in Cabin 10

You can read the synopsis and an excerpt from the first chapter in yesterday’s post.

I have just finished A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward, my review of this, the second in the superb Inspector Francis Sadler series, will be posted soon.

a-deadly-thaw

Blurb

Every secret has consequences.

Autumn 2004
In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.

Spring 2016
A year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary.

Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . .Amazon

Next I plan to read Ward Zero by Linda Huber which will be published on 1 October 2016

Ward Zero

 

Horror swept through her. Had she been buried alive?

On Sarah’s first visit to see her foster mother, Mim, in Brockburn General Hospital, she is sucked into a world that isn’t what it should be.

Someone is lying, someone is stealing. And someone is killing – but who? With a grieving child to take care of, as well as Mim, Sarah has to put family first. She doesn’t see where danger lies – until it’s too late.

If you think you’re safe in a hospital, think again. Amazon

Have you read any of these? Do you want to?

Let me know what you are reading this week by adding your comments or leaving your link below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 4)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well that’s the last of our Bank Holiday’s gone until Christmas time and with the nights beginning to draw in I’m setting myself up to an autumn full of brilliant reads after such a hectic summer. It is a double-edged sword living in a beautiful but easily accessible place in that we have lots of visitors and as our last set departed Friday I have spent my Saturday tidying up my book lists, adding my reviews to Goodreads and Amazon and planning my upcoming reads – I’m really not able to do the ‘I’ll see what takes my fancy approach’ and so I now feel much happier!

This was also the week where my book reviews for the year passed the magic 100 mark – you can see them all here

This week I was delighted to appear on  The Book Review Cafe’s #TopFiveThursday post where you can find out more about my favourite reads of the year.

TopFiveThursday

Last Week on the Blog

With the last big push before the end of the 20 Books of Summer Challenge I reviewed The Narrow Bed by Sophie Hannah. This is the latest in the Culver Valley Series and a very bookish mystery which perfectly showcased Sophie Hannah’s unique approach to murder mystery writing.

My book choice for First Chapter ~ First Paragraph this week was from The Twins by Saskia Sarginson – my review for this book is here

My post for Wednesday also included my other reads for the week namely two debut novels of the crime fiction persuasion.

This was swiftly followed by a review of Jenny Blackhurst’s psychological thriller Before I Let You In which I awarded the full five stars. This author is now firmly on my ‘must-read’ list.

Yesterday I posted my review for my 15th  and final read for the 20 Books of Summer; Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, which in turn was wonderful and an exasperating read but one that I am pleased I persevered with.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Game Changer by Louise Phillips, the fourth in the Dr Kate Pearson series. If you haven’t read any of this author’s Irish crime fiction, I’d urge you to try these books featuring Criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson. This book looks at the way memory works, or doesn’t and had an incredible amount packed into the story to keep even the most hyperactive reader entertained. Sadly I can’t see any sign of the fifth in this series, but if you know otherwise please let me know!

The Game Changer

Blurb

A suspected suicide in Dublin. A brutal murder in New York. The abduction of a child over two decades earlier. All linked … but how?

Criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson has the answer. Because she was the young girl abducted all those years ago.
And, when she begins to investigate the suspicious suicide in Dublin and confirms a connection to her own disappearance, she is forced to start asking questions. Why did her parents lie to her, telling her she was missing for only a few hours? And why doesn’t she have any memory of the time she was held?
When a sinister note arrives at her home, it becomes clear that Kate is being targeted. But by whom? And why now? Kate is consumed by her efforts to uncover the truth, knowing that her life is in very real danger.
The Game Changer wants someone to pay for the past – and Kate is being held accountable. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well, my low submission last week was actually down to a lack of organisation and bad memory as I’d received two books in the hectic days before the wedding and not added them to the list!

First up the lovely people at Quercus books kindly answered my request for a copy of The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane: The Story of the Carr’s Hill Murder by Jane Housham with a proof copy ahead of publication on 3 November 2016. This book fits perfectly with my renewed interest in historical true crimes, especially in the context of the life and times of the Victorian era.

The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane

A Victorian Murder. A Victorian Madman. A Modern Judgement.

Gateshead, April 1866

The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane takes the forgotten case of a child murder in 1866 as a springboard to delve deeply into the pysche of the Victorians. What Jane Housham finds, in this exploration of guilt, sexual deviance and madness, is a diagnosis that is still ripe for the challenging and a sentence that provokes even our liberal modern judgement.

Set around Gateshead, it is a revelatory social history of the North – an area growing in industry and swelling with immigration, where factory workers are tinged blue and yellow by chemicals, the first tabloids are printed, children are left alone by working parents and haystack fires sweep the county in rebellion against the introduction of the police force. Into this landscape, a five-year-old Irish girl named Sarah Melvin sets out over the fell to look for her father, and a troubled young man makes a frightening leap of logic to save his own skin.

Told here for the first time, this is an extraordinary story of sexual deviance and murder. In lively, empathic prose, Jane Housham explores psychiatry, the justice system and the media in mid-Victorian England to reveal a surprisingly modern state of affairs. Amazon

I had also received a copy of Linda Huber’s forthcoming psychological suspense novel, Ward Zero ahead of publication on 1 October 2016.

Ward Zero

Blurb

Horror swept through her. Had she been buried alive?

On Sarah’s first visit to see her foster mother, Mim, in Brockburn General Hospital, she is sucked into a world that isn’t what it should be.

Someone is lying, someone is stealing. And someone is killing – but who? With a grieving child to take care of, as well as Mim, Sarah has to put family first. She doesn’t see where danger lies – until it’s too late.

If you think you’re safe in a hospital, think again

And delightfully I won my choice of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel on Margot Kinberg’s blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist. Margot donated this prize after serving on the panel for this award and using the giveaway to support a wonderful charity Storytime which provides books to New Zealand’s most deprived children.  If you haven’t discovered this blog, I urge you to do so Margot has a wealth of knowledge and is exceptionally supportive of other bloggers. After careful consideration I plumped for Inside The Black Horse by Ray Berad as my choice, having noted that this was also was a finalist for ‘Best Crime Novel’ in the Ngaio Marsh Awards.

Inside the Black Horse

Blurb

A Desperate young man commits an armed robbery of a pub that interrupts a drug deal, upending many lives and lighting the fuse on a violent chain of events that exposes a grittier side of Aotearoa. The International Judging panel for the Ngaio Marsh called it “A lucid and potent portrait of good people and gangsters that is unmistakably Kiwi in flavour and tone… a fine crime story with considerable depth” Amazon

I’ve also added books from NetGalley this week starting with a historical fiction novel The Jeweller’s Wife by Judith Lennox This promises to be an epic tale of passion and betrayal which should provide a change from crime fiction.

The Jeweller's Wife

Blurb

1938. As England awaits the outbreak of war, Juliet Winterton journeys from the Mediterranean to the Essex countryside to begin her life as the beautiful young wife of a London jeweller.
But beneath her husband’s intelligence and ambition, lies a cruel and ruthless man. And when dashing politician Gillis Sinclair comes to stay at Marsh Court, Juliet is drawn to his irresistible charm.
So begins a passionate affair that will have consequences far beyond anything Juliet imagines. For Gillis Sinclair is hiding a dark secret and, as the next generation of Wintertons grows up, Juliet fears that they, too, will be tainted by the past… NetGalley

I was taken by my next book after reading an excerpt on Heather’s blog Worth Getting Into Bed For when she featured it on the First Chapter ~ First Paragraph meme; The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford caught my eye and seems to promise a bit more variety to my reading this month.

The Woman on the Orient Express

Blurb

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabin mate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets. NetGalley

And lastly one of my must-read authors Belinda Bauer has a new book which will be published on 3 January 2017 titled, The Beautiful Dead.

The Beautiful Dead

Blurb

Belinda Bauer is an award-winning British crime writer of the highest caliber, whose smart, stylish novels have captivated readers and reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic and earned her a reputation as “the true heir to the great Ruth Rendell” (Mail on Sunday (UK)). Her latest, The Beautiful Dead, is a riveting narrative centered on a down-on-her-luck journalist and a serial killer desperate for the spotlight.

TV crime reporter Eve Singer’s career is flagging, but that starts to change when she covers a spate of bizarre murders—each one committed in public and advertised like an art exhibition. When the killer contacts Eve about her coverage of his crimes, she is suddenly on the inside of the biggest murder investigation of the decade. But as the killer becomes increasingly obsessed with her, Eve realizes there’s a thin line between inside information and becoming an accomplice to murder—possibly her own. NetGalley

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH

Since my last post I have read 3 books, had to DNF a NetGalley read purely because the formatting rendered it unreadable, and gained 6 so the total is now on the ascent again to 174 books!

83 physical books
69 e-books
22 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Chosen Child – Linda Huber

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller
4*s

I was delighted to be offered a copy of this book by the author saying “I’m asking you because this one has a similar ‘feel’ to The Cold Cold Sea. It’s another psychological thriller, about a couple who are in the process of adopting a child, but things aren’t all what they seem…” My interest was piqued having thoroughly enjoyed The Cold Cold Sea.

This book gets into its cracking pace early on, in fact soon after Rick and Ella attend an adoption party to meet children who are ready to be adopted. Things aren’t straightforward though, Rick has fixed ideas on the type of child he wants to adopt; a young white boy without any health issues whereas Ella is hoping to find a child she feels that magical connection with. Adoption isn’t an easy process to go through and Ella is desperate to keep their social worker Linda on side and it doesn’t take much imagination to imagine the stress the couple are under.

Meanwhile Amanda Waters, mother to young Jaden is in a bit of dilemma, she’s bored within her marriage and yet her method of alleviating the boredom has resulted in consequences which she hadn’t bargained for… and then Amanda’s husband goes missing, setting off a chain of event which threaten everything she holds dear.

This isn’t your average psychological thriller where the terror slowly builds, I could only watch horrified as some, but in no means all, of the ramifications of decisions made early on came to pass. It is an original take on what appears to be two fairly familiar stories but the way in which the two become intertwined yet still remaining clear and separate is something I could only marvel at. This is helped by the clear and believable characters that have been created even if some of the decisions were questionable I could square them with the circumstances.

This was a gripping tale with the pace fast and furious, yet remaining clear because we get both Ella’s and Amanda’s stories with minimal navel gazing as they grapple with the way their lives are turning out. The alternate viewpoints clearly marked with the day each chapter refers to (thankfully all moving in a linear fashion) means this was one of those books where ‘one more chapter, after all they are short’ turned into marathon reads as I wanted to know what on earth was going to happen next! Both women have moral dilemmas and don’t always act with the principles you’d hope mothers would, but hey there wouldn’t be much of a story if they did! I have to admit my feelings about both women altered backwards and forwards through the book, a sign that the author had real control over them and was able to reveal or hide aspects of their personalities to suit the current chapter.

This was a hugely enjoyable read, entertaining and one where you need to buckle in and just enjoy the ride – be warned it may take you to entirely unexpected places.

Chosen Child will be published on 15 February 2016 and is available at a bargain price!

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 10)

This Week In Books

Hosted by 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

I’ve just started the latest book by fellow Channel Islander Rachel Abbott; Kill Me Again.

Kill Me Again

When your life is a lie, who can you trust?
When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.
But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.
When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?
She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her. Amazon

I have just finished Chosen Child by Linda Huber which is going to be published on 15 February 2016

Chosen Child

You can read the synopsis and a taster from this book in yesterday’s post

Next on my spreadsheet is one of my books from ‘I should have read this ages ago’ pile. In fact this book was purchased way back in March 2013! Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale deserves to be read after being so patient.

Mrs Robinson's Disgrace

Blurb

On a mild winter’s evening in 1850, Isabella Robinson set out for a party. Her carriage bumped across the wide cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town and drew up at 8 Royal Circus, a grand sandstone terrace lit by gas lamps.
The guests were gathered in the high, airy drawing rooms on the first floor, the ladies in glinting silk and satin pulled tight over boned corsets; the gentlemen in tailcoats, waistcoats and neckties. When Mrs Robinson joined the throng she was at once enchanted by a Mr Edward Lane, a handsome medical student ten years her junior. He was ‘fascinating’, she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man’s charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, which she was to find hard to shake… Amazon

So that’s my choices for this week. What do you all have to read at the moment? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 9)

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 first paragraph for the first time in weeks comes from a book without a prologue! Hats off to Linda Huber and her latest book Chosen Child.

Chosen Child

Blurb

A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.
Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy… Goodreads

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

CHAPTER ONE

Saturday 3rd May

Ella held her breath, squinting at Rick ashe inched the Peugeot into the narrow space between a battered Clio and a shiny new BMW. He was nervous – of course he was, she was too – and it didn’t make the manoeuvre any easier. The Peugeot crept forward until Rick yanked the handbrake up, and Ella’s shoulders sagged in relief. A scrape on anyone’s car would have been the worst possible start to their first adoption party.

Please note this excerpt come from a proof copy

So what do you think? This is a fairly sedate start to a gripping book but…the killer question; do you want to know more?

If you have an opening to share, please leave your link in the comments box below.

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (October 15)

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 Lost Empress by Steve Robinson, the latest from the genealogical mystery series featuring Jefferson Tate

The Lost Empress

Blurb

On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route to England and now lies at the bottom of Canada’s St Lawrence River. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death. Tayte is expert in tracking killers across centuries. In The Lost Empress, his unique talents draw him to one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history as he unravels the truth behind Alice’s death amidst a backdrop of pre-WWI espionage. NetGalley

I have recently finished a truly chilling tale, The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber, where a young child, Olivia goes missing on a beach. Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the holiday cottage desperate to know what happened to her daughter. Another mother is getting her daughter ready for her first day at school but the teacher soon realises that there is something wrong with Hailey…

Click on the book cover for my review

The Cold Cold Sea

Next I am going to read The Twilight Hour by Nicci Gerrard, one half of the author team Nicci French.

The Twilight Hour

Blurb

Eleanor Lee is fiercely independent. She has lived alone well into her nineties, despite her now near-total blindness. Now, finally, she has been persuaded by her children to move into a home.
She employs Peter, a recent graduate nursing a broken heart, to spend the summer sorting through her attic – papers, photographs, books and letters – ahead of the move.
These fragments of her own history unleash in Eleanor a long-concealed story of forbidden love, betrayal, passion, grief and self-sacrifice; and in their unlikely friendship, something is unlocked in Peter’s heart, too. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Cold Cold Sea – Linda Huber

Psychological Thriller 4*'s
Psychological Thriller
4*’s

This book was compelling reading although at times I wanted to do so from behind a cushion as every parent’s nightmare unfolds over 256 pages. This book is almost understated in tone but beware it is full of raw emotions and drills into your mind making it a book that you won’t easily forget.

I was instantly dragged into memories of summer days sat on the beach entertaining children with rock pools and sandcastles. For Olivia’s mother Maggie she felt hurt when her daughter spurned her attention and wanted to look in the rock pools with her father Colin and big brother Joe, with the Cornish beach empty she makes her way across to them and Maggie pours herself a cup of coffee and waits for them to return for biscuits. When the Colin and Joe make their way back there is the awful realisation that Olivia is missing. Colin’s reaction isn’t sugar-coated, he is furious with his wife and when the search finds no trace of the little girl he goes with his son to his parent’s house leaving Maggie to wait for the return of her daughter.

A few weeks later teacher Katie who is preparing her classroom for the infants starting at the private school where she works, she’s a little nervous and easily intimidated by the mothers who look like they’ve stepped out of glamorous magazines but soon she has sufficiently worried about Hailey Marshall to visit her mother. Disturbed by the lack of feeling Jennifer Marshall shows her young daughter she talks to her colleagues who soon reassure her that with Jenifer Marshall pregnant with twins and her husband Peter away caring for his sick grandmother that hormones and tiredness are the most likely cause.

In this clever story it is easy to work out exactly what Jennifer’s problem is and as the story drags you along through difficult scene after scene it felt like watching a slow-motion car crash. I knew the fall-out would be enormous but kept reading to find out who for. The plot is audacious but keeps to just the right side of believable when you take everything the author tells us into account. The story is told from the three women’s points of view; Maggie, Jennifer and Katie all mull over their feelings as they try to make sense of what is happening. I did find the narrative a little lacking in interaction and conversation due to this introspection but given the nature of the storyline it served well in adding to the tension which mounts until the superb ending.

I’d like to thank Legend Press for giving me a copy of this novel in return for this honest review and since I haven’t read Linda Huber’s debut novel, The Paradise Trees, it has gone onto my list of books I must have.

Warning – Parents don’t read this book at the beach particularly if you need to keep an eye on the children!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (October 3)

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

I’m not even going to try to explain the additions to my TBR this week….

First up from NetGalley I’m thrilled to have a copy of A Twist of the Knife a collection of short stories by Peter James

A Twist of the Knife

Blurb

With each twist of the knife, a chilling new journey begins . . .
From a woman intent on bizarre revenge, to a restaurant critic with a morbid fear of the number thirteen; and from a man arranging a life-changing assignation, to a couple heading for a disaster-filled vacation . . .
In multi-million-copy bestselling author Peter James’ collection of short stories we first come to meet Brighton’s finest detective, Roy Grace, and read the tale that went on to inspire James’ hugely successful novel, Dead Simple. James exposes the Achilles heel of each of his characters, and makes us question how well we can trust ourselves, and one another. Each tale carries a twist that will haunt readers for days after they turn the final page . . .
Combining every twisted tale from the ebook bestsellers Short Shockers One and Short Shockers Two, with a never-seen-before collection of new material, A Twist of the Knife shows Peter James as the undisputed grand master of storytellers with this sometimes funny, often haunting, but always shocking collection. Amazon

I am also lucky enough to have a copy of The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber

The Cold Cold Sea

Blurb

‘They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose from her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and dialled 999.’
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life.
Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a niggling worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain.
Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No-one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no-one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family. NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottaline

Keep Quiet

Blurb

After picking up his sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, from the cinema one evening, Jake Buckman decides to let him practice driving home along a seemingly quiet street. It is a decision that will alter the lives of their family for ever, as Ryan hits a jogger, who does not survive.
What follows is not a clear-cut hit and run, but a split-second decision by a father who will do anything to protect his son. But just how much can a parent sacrifice to protect their own child? And how will Ryan cope with the consequences of his actions? Amazon

Finally, through the post I got a copy of The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel which I just couldn’t resist after the enjoying The Dark Meadow.
The Murder Farm

Blurb

A whole family has been murdered with a pickaxe. They were old Danner the farmer, an overbearing patriarch, his put-upon devoutly religious wife, and their daughter Barbara Spangler, whose husband Vincenz left her after fathering her daughter, Marianne. Also murdered was the Danners’ new maidservant, Marie, who was regarded as slightly simple. Despite the brutal nature of the killings and the small village where it has taken place, the police have no leads. Officially the crime is unsolved. And then a former resident returns home… The Murder Farm is an unconventional detective story. The author interweaves testament from the villagers, an oblique view of the murderer, occasional third-person narrative pieces and passages of pious devotion. The narrator leaves the village unaware of the truth, only the reader is able to reach the shattering conclusion. Amazon

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