Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Mount TBR 2017

My Last Confession – Helen FitzGerald

Psychological Thriller
3*s

I love the way Helen FitzGerald tackles widely different subjects within her writing of psychological thrillers and in My Last Confession, we have a newly appointed Probation Officer and one of her ‘clients’, a murderer.

Krissie is a single mum and she’s moved in with Robbie – I believe these two characters appeared in the author’s debut novel Dead Lovely, which I haven’t read but may explain why some of the details about how they came to be together seemed a little illusive. She uses her previous skills working with child protection and move into supervising adult offenders.

Jeremy is one of Krissie’s cases, in prison for murder, although a conviction which Krissie begins to doubt whether he has been wrongly convicted and so she turns detective. Of course Jeremy is only one prisoner who makes up Krissie’s workload and so we have a number of characters to get to know while Krissie battles with her job and her son who steals the show more than once.

Krissie is a mass of contradictions, on the one hard a caring woman, one who is trying to build a family but she also does some incredibly stupid things over the course of the book. There were times when I just wanted to shake some sense into her, after all this is supposed to be an educated woman but obviously one whose heart rules her head. At times, despite playing detective with gusto, I had to despair at Krissie’s inability to read the clues given to her – maybe she needs to read a few more crime fiction novels to give her some pointers.

The book really does beg you to sit up and take notice with some attention grabbing scenes. For those of a nervous disposition, there are some racy scenes too. Having read four other books by this author I think perhaps the more subtle look at modern life worked slightly better for me. Those themes are ever-present in this book, particularly the Glasgow setting which is terrifically well created. Although I’ve not worked in a prison or in any type of related position, the work-place scenes are easily transposed to anyone who has colleagues and they had me chuckling away frequently.

There were some bizarre scenes though which I didn’t really quite work for me but it really was worth persevering because the second half of the book is exceptionally gripping with an ending which was perfectly fitting.

This is an ideal book if you want to read something a little bit different, a bit of crime, a little bit of women’s fiction, a few racy scenes and a whole dollop of fun. This is the ideal lighter type of reading, one that should be approached with a sense of irony which would iron out the earlier scenes that had me slightly confused.

My Last Confession
was my twenty-fourth read in my Mount TBR Challenge having been purchased in November 2016.

mount-tbr-2017

 

 

 

First Published UK: 25 April 2011
Publisher: Faber & Faber
No of Pages:  275
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Great Reads by Helen FitzGerald

Bloody Woman
The Cry
The Exit
Viral

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 20)

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

My current read is The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti, a tale which starts with birds falling from the sky, this along with the feathers that accompanied the book makes me incredibly glad that I don’t have this particular phobia.

Blurb

Where did they come from? Why did they fall?

In a ​quie​t​ town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the​ ​reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are ​having an affair, throwing the town into an uproar and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have one suspect: Nate.

Nate​’​s coworker, Bridget Harris, is determined to prove his innocence. Bridget knows the key to Nate​’​s exoneration and the truth of Lucia​’​s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of ​t​h​e missing girl’s journal.

The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti​’​s signature chillingly satisfying twists and turns.Where did they come from? Why did they fall?

In a ​quie​t​ town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the​ ​reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are ​having an affair, throwing the town into an uproar and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have one suspect: Nate.

Nate​’​s coworker, Bridget Harris, is determined to prove his innocence. Bridget knows the key to Nate​’​s exoneration and the truth of Lucia​’​s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of ​t​h​e missing girl’s journal.

The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti​’​s signature chillingly satisfying twists and turns. Amazon

The last book I read was Helen FitzGerald’s My Last Confession – a psychological thriller with a Probation Officer and a murder as the two main protagonists.

Blurb

When she starts her new job as a parole officer, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, My Last Confession is a dark and compelling psychological thriller that traces a young parole officer and her dangerous obsession with a convicted murderer. Amazon

Next I will be reading Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood? by Dee Gordon.

Blurb

You wont be familiar with every one of the huge array of women featured in these pages, but all, familiar or not, leave unanswered questions behind them. The range is extensive, as was the research, with its insight into the lives and minds of women in different centuries, different countries, with diverse cultures and backgrounds, from the poverty stricken to royalty. Mistresses, murderers, smugglers, pirates, prostitutes and fanatics with hearts and souls that feature every shade of black (and grey!).

From Cleopatra to Ruth Ellis, from Boudicca to Bonnie Parker, from Lady Caroline Lamb to Moll Cutpurse, from Jezebel to Ava Gardner. Less familiar names include Mary Jeffries, the Victorian brothel-keeper, Belle Starr, the American gambler and horse thief, La Voisin, the seventeenth-century Queen of all Witches in France but these are random names, to illustrate the variety of the content in store for all those interested in women who defy law and order, for whatever reason. The risque, the adventurous and the outrageous, the downright nasty and the downright desperate all human (female!) life is here. From the lower stratas of society to the aristocracy, class is not a common denominator.

Wicked? Misunderstood? Nave? Foolish? Predatory? Manipulative? Or just out of their time?

Read and decide. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 5)

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.

This week my opening paragraph comes from an author who has delighted me from every subject she tackles, from mothers, to old age and a bit of viral action in between. In My Last Confession by Helen FitzGerald main protagonist is a parole officer.

Blurb

When she starts her new job as a parole officer, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, My Last Confession is a dark and compelling psychological thriller that traces a young parole officer and her dangerous obsession with a convicted murderer. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

Tips for parole officers:

1 Don’t smuggle heroin into prison.
2 Don’t drink vodka to relieve stress.
3 Don’t French-kiss a colleague to get your boyfriend jealous.
4 Don’t snort speed.
5 Don’t spend more time with murderers than with your son.
6 Don’t invite crack-head clients to your party.

Maybe if they’d had some kind of induction then my wedding day would have been the most wonderful day of my life.

~ ~ ~

As I love this author’s writing, I’m sure this one will be a great read.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 27)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well this has been an interesting week for blogging as up until Saturday morning we had no internet and no phone line. During the second wave of storm Angus on Monday night it mysteriously packed its bags and left for a holiday. Happily all order is now restored but I apologise for my lack of comments which depended on limited availability; happily for this post I had mostly prepared all my posts before disaster struck!

I had a lovely surprise to receive my very own copy of Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard containing my quote on the inside.

inside-distress-signals

And then the lovely Joanne Robertson from My Chestnut Reading Tree shared this on twitter from Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst.

inside-before-i-let-you-in

This Week on the Blog

I was part of the blog tour for Edward Glover’s A Motif of Seasons on Monday which the author provided a lovely excerpt of his book.

My excerpt on Tuesday came from The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley, a book that sucked me in with its subtle hook of missing twins whose reporter aunt searches for answers on the release of the woman accused of perverting the course of justice.

My This Week in Books post detailed my reading of the aforementioned book and the upcoming The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy; it really has been an outstanding reading week.

On Thursday I posted my first review of the week of The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer. If I had any doubts about this author’s brilliant writing, which I didn’t, they would have been blown away before the first page was done.

On Friday I posted what is my most anticipated (by me) post of the year; Reading Bingo 2016. Struggling with internet issues tested my patience with my formatting but I really enjoyed deciding which of my reads would be placed in which box, and for the first time ever, I completed every square. What books would you choose?

reading-bingo-small

From the poll other book blogger have done pretty well this year too!

My second review of the week was posted yesterday; another brilliant read with the thirtieth book published by Val McDermidOut of Bounds which has not one but two cold cases for Kate Pirie to solve.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Friday On My Mind by Nicci French the fifth in the Frieda Klein series. I really love this series and this episode went straight into the action. I particularly enjoy having such a switched on chief protagonist, psychoanalyst and uncoverer of truths in-chief, who has her own villain to outwit. Even better she is backed up by a cast of realistic characters and a stellar plot.
You can read my review here
Friday on my Mind

Blurb

When a bloated corpse is found floating in the River Thames the police can at least sure that identifying the victim will be straightforward. Around the dead man’s wrist is a hospital band. On it are the words Dr F. Klein . . .
But psychotherapist Frieda Klein is very much alive. And, after evidence linking her to the murder is discovered, she becomes the prime suspect.
Unable to convince the police of her innocence, Frieda is forced to make a bold decision in order to piece together the terrible truth before it’s too late either for her or for those she loves. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

Well after weaning myself off the daily deals on Amazon for quite some time by not opening the email, this week has provided temptation on an entirely different scale and I have acquired a restrained 4 books at a bargain price! This is my present to myself in anticipation of an entire month of festivity still to go before the big day!

First up is Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes, a much-loved author of mine, and this, her latest book, had been on my wishlist from before the publication date.

never-alone

Blurb

Elizabeth Haynes’ new psychological thriller is a brilliantly suspenseful and shocking story in which nothing is at it seems, but everything is at stake.

Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.

When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant.

After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust.

But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he? Amazon

And then I found My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald, an author who has thrilled me with the variety of her books starting with my personal favourite The Cry.

my-last-confession

Blurb

When she starts her new job as a parole officer, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, My Last Confession is a dark and compelling psychological thriller that traces a young parole officer and her dangerous obsession with a convicted murderer. Helen FitzGerald is also the acclaimed author of The Cry, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year award. Amazon

After having finished The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley earlier this week I couldn’t resist the second in the series After She Fell.

after-she-fell

Blurb

There are so many ways to fall…
Catriona needs help. Her seventeen-year-old daughter Elena was found dead at the bottom of a cliff near her boarding school. The death has been ruled a suicide, but Catriona isn’t convinced.
When her old friend, journalist Alex Devlin, arrives in Hallow’s Edge to investigate, she quickly finds that life at private boarding school The Drift isn’t as idyllic as the bucolic setting might suggest.
Amidst a culture of drug-taking, bullying and tension between school and village, no one is quite who they seem to be, and there are several people who might have wanted Elena to fall…

Lastly I simply had to purchase the latest in the Patrik Hedstrom and Erika Falck series, The Ice Child which is book 9, written by the highly talented Camilla Lackberg. Another already on my wishlist. This is a series that just keeps getting better, I couldn’t put down the last in the series, Buried Angels

the-ice-child

Blurb

SEE NO EVIL
It’s January in the peaceful seaside resort of Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t manage to stop.
HEAR NO EVIL
The victim, a girl who went missing four months ago, has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment – and Detective Patrik Hedström suspects this is just the start.
SPEAK NO EVIL
The police soon discover that three other girls are missing from nearby towns, but there are no fresh leads. And when Patrik’s wife stumbles across a link to an old murder case, the detective is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light. Amazon

Four books for the absolute bargain price of £4.49!

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH

Since my last post I have read 4 books and managed to gain 4, so my TBR is still standing at 178 books! Please note dear reader the gradual reduction in NetGalley books – I’m aiming to get to single figures by the end of 2016.

93 physical books
71 e-books
14 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?